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NY E89658

November 19, 1999

CLA-2-94:RR:NC:SP:233 E89658


TARIFF NO.: 9402.90.0020

Ms. Pamela Zagrocki
UPS Customhouse Brokerage, Inc.
5900 4th Avenue S., Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98108

RE: The tariff classification of the Inverta-Chair and Inversion Table from China.

Dear Ms. Zagrocki :

In your letter dated November 3, 1999, on behalf of STL International, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted literature depicts the following items:

1. The Inverta-Chair, which is used for inversion therapy. You indicate that this type of therapy is used for multiple purposes, which includes relieving back pain, reducing stress, and reducing muscle pain as well as other noted ailments. Inversion therapy uses the benefits of gravity by placing your body in line with the downward forces of gravity. Inversion therapy elongates the spine, increasing the spaces between the vertebrae, which relieves the pressure on discs, ligaments and nerve roots. The Inverta-chair is designed to relax the psoas muscle and decrease pressure on the spine. An individual would sit in the chair and secure himself with a lap pad. The bottom of the chair has a place for securing the ankles as well. The individual would then rotate in different inverted positions to relieve stress on the back. The chair is secured on a metal stand that allows it to rotate.

2. The Inversion Table is also used for inversion therapy. The table is similar in construction to the chair, however, it is a flat table that the individual lies on. It allows an individual to lie on the table and to rotate in different positions. The table has ankle clamps that an individual will secure himself by in order to perform various exercises.

We do not agree with your proposed classification for each in 9019.10 as mechano-therapy appliances. They have very few mechanical parts and the importer advertises them as providing benefits such as reducing the effects of aging and increasing circulation and skin health, which go far beyond the treatment of diseases of the joints and muscles. More specifically, Explanatory Note I to Harmonized System Heading 90.19 states, “Since mechano-therapy refers only to treatment involving movement of the joint, etc, this heading excludes wholly stationary apparatus (e.g., steps, ladders, parallel bars) even if they are for use in the rehabilitation of the limbs; such articles are classified in their respective headings.” In use, these devices are basically stationary even if the user bends his-her joints in various exercises, such as up side down sit-ups.

These devices are also not instruments or appliances used in medical sciences in HTS Heading 9018. They are routinely sold directly to consumers to be part of their fitness program, which is why purchasers are advised to consult their physician prior to use.

The applicable subheading for the Inverta-Chair and Inversion Table will be 9402.90.0020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for medical, surgical, dental or veterinary furniture, other. The rate of duty will be free.

Regarding your request for classification of the Inversion Rack with gravity boots, please submit a sample of the item.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Lawrence Mushinske at 212-637-7061.


Robert B. Swierupski

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