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HQ 962005

December 23, 1999

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 962005 RH


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9989

Mr. or Ms. Mai Phom
22 Hartrow Drive
Foxboro, MA 02035

RE: Classification of a ACinnamon Belt@; heading 6307; heading 0906

Dear Mr. or Ms. Phom:

This is in reply to your letter of June 9, 1998, concerning the classification of a ACinnamon Belt.@ You submitted a sample of the merchandise to aid us in our determination.


The merchandise under consideration is a ACinnamon Belt.@ You state that it is constructed of polyester and cotton. The belt is approximately 8 inches wide and 39 inches long. It has a VELCRO® closure that allows for adjustment from 39 inches to 31 inches. It is made of a stretch fabric which appears to be woven and has two woven pieces of fabric forming the pockets which contain the cinnamon. The pockets measure approximately 10inches by 8 inches. The fabrics are pieced together and form a durable elasticized “belt” which is worn around the waist area.

The packaging materials list the Aingredients@ which are sewn inside the belt as ANATURAL POWDER MADE FROM TRUNKS AND BARKS OF THE CINNAMON TREE.@ The packaging further specifies the Aeffects@ of the belt as follows:



What is the correct classification of the “Cinnamon Belt”?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in order of their appearance.

In interpreting the headings and subheadings, Customs looks to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN), which are not legally binding, but are recognized as the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level.

Initially, we note that the article in question is not specifically provided for under the terms of any heading. It consists of a textile belt with a cinnamon powder filling or stuffing. The cinnamon component is classifiable under heading 0906, HTSUSA, which provides for ACinnamon and cinnamontree flowers: Crushed or ground.@ There are several competing provisions under which the textile component or belt is classifiable.

Heading 6217, HTSUSA, provides for AOther made up clothing accessories, or parts of garments or of clothing accessories, other than those of heading 6212.@ The EN to heading 6217 reads, in pertinent part:

(4) Belts of all kinds (including bandoliers) and sashes (e.g., military or ecclesiastical), of textile fabric, whether or not elastic or rubberized, or of woven metal thread. These articles are included here even if they incorporate buckles or other fittings of precious metal or are decorated with pearls, precious or semiprecious stones (natural, synthetic or reconstructed).

In the opinion of this office, the instant belt is not a clothing accessory. It does not exhibit the relationship with clothing necessary to be considered an accessory to clothes; it does not adorn or accent clothing nor can it be threaded through belt loops on trouser. It is therefore excluded from classification within heading 6217.

Heading 6212, HTSUSA, encompasses body supporting garments. The EN to heading 6212 state in pertinent part:

This heading covers articles of a kind designed for wear as bodysupporting garments or as supports for certain other articles of apparel, and parts thereof. . . .

The heading includes, inter alia:

(1) Brassieres of all kinds.

(2) Girdles and pantygirdles.

(3) Corselettes (combinations of girdles or pantygirdles and brassieres).

(4) Corsets and corsetbelts. These are usually reinforced with flexible metallic, whalebone or plastic stays, and are generally fastened by lacing or by hooks.

(5) Suspenderbelts, hygienic belts, suspensory bandages, suspender jockstraps, braces, suspenders, garters, shirtsleeve supporting armbands and armlets.

(6) Body belts for men (including those combined with under pants).

(7) Maternity, postpregnancy or similar supporting or corrective belts, not being orthopaedic appliances of heading 90.21 (see Explanatory Note to that heading).

The last competing provision is heading 6307, HTSUSA, which is a residual provision that provides for other made up articles of textiles that are not provided for more specifically in the nomenclature. In HQ 088540, dated June 3, 1991, addressing the classification of a weight lifting belt, Customs held that the article was classifiable under the provision for other made up articles of heading 6307, HTSUSA. A later ruling, HQ 089581, dated November 4, 1991, addressing the classification of a similar article, a "Tummy Shaper" belt, also classified the article in heading 6307, HTSUSA. The Tummy Shaper belt consisted of expandable synthetic rubber laminated on one side with a nylon knit fabric. It had a hook and loop fastener at one end. It was 8 inches wide and 41 inches long. The belt was designed and used to promote weight loss.

There has been some confusion in determining what distinguishes the belts of heading 6212, HTSUSA, from those of heading 6307, HTSUSA. The EN to heading 6212, HTSUSA, are clear in designating these articles as bodysupporting garments or supports for other kind of apparel. The distinction centers on the fact that while the articles enumerated in the EN to heading 6212, HTSUSA, are principally used or worn as garments or garment accessories, those of heading 6307, HTSUSA, are not.

In Customs view, the belt in question is more akin to a tummy shaper belt than any of the articles enumerated in the EN to heading 6212. Accordingly, the belt component of this article is classifiable in heading 6307.

Since both headings 0906 and 6307 refer to part of the article it cannot be classified solely on the basis on GRI 1. Thus, we must refer to the remaining GRIs, in their appropriate order. GRI 2(a) in not applicable in this case as it refers to incomplete or unfinished articles. GRI 2(b) directs that the classification of goods consisting of more than one shall be according to the principles of rule 3. That rule applies to goods that are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings or subheadings. Accordingly, classification of the subject article is governed by GRI 3.

GRI 3(a) provides that where two or more headings each refer to part only of an article, classification is determined using a GRI 3(b) analysis, which directs classification based on the material or component which imparts the essential character to an article. The EN to GRI 3(b) reads, in relevant part:

(VIII) The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

With regard to the instant belt, the wieght, quantity and value of the textile component far exceed that of the cinnamon. Moreover, it is the textile that provides the pressure and support to the waist and back. There is no evidence that the alleged therapeutic “effects” of the cinnamon have any medical or physical benefits. Accordingly, we find that the textile component provides the essential character to the belt.


The article is question described as a ACinnamon Belt@ is classifiable under subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA, which provides for AOther made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other: Other.@ It is dutiable at the general column one rate at 7.2 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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