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NY F89221

July 31, 2000

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TP:347 F89221


TARIFF NO.: 6406.99.30

Mr. Karl F. Krueger
AEI Customs Brokerage Services
P.O. Box 5129
Southfield, MI 48086-5129

RE: The tariff classification of rubber/plastic insoles from Austria.

Dear Mr. Krueger:

In your letter dated June 23, 2000, written on behalf of your client, Tri Hawk Corporation, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted a sample of an insole, “Tri Hawk Orthofit 9000,” which you state is designed for use by podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons. The insole is a thin, stiff piece of rubber/plastic. You describe it as an insole that the medical professional modifies to fit the patient. After identifying the problem, the doctor heats the insole until it is pliable, holds the foot on the “orthotic” until it cools and hardens, and adds posts or wedges as needed. The insole itself is stiff and inflexible both before and after modification. You also state that, although sold in pairs to the doctor, there is no reason that the doctor use both left and right on a single patient. You state that the “Orthofit 9000” fits into any style of footwear and is an alternative choice for patients who cannot afford the cost of “orthotics” or laboratory-made devices. You believe that the “Orthofit 9000” is properly classified as an orthopedic appliance and parts thereof, other, in HTS 9021.90.8000.

Among other merchandise, heading 9021, HTS, covers “Orthopedic appliances, including crutchessplints and other fracture appliancesother appliances which are worn or carriedto compensate for a defect or disability; parts and accessories thereof.” The EN to heading 9021 indicates that orthopedic appliances are appliances for: “(i) Preventing or correcting bodily deformities; or (ii) Supporting or holding organs following an illness or operation.” In pertinent part, they include:

(6) Orthopedic footwear, having an enlarged leather stiffener which may be reinforced with a metal or cork frame, made only to measure.

(7) Special insoles, made to measure.

Although insoles such as the “Orthofit 9000” are designed, intended, and often prescribed for persons suffering foot discomfort from any of a variety of diseases or conditions, the purpose of such insoles is essentially to provide comfort, and not principally used to prevent/correct deformities or support organs. In their imported condition, the insoles are not made-to-measure for a specific person and are mass-produced items presented in pairs, thereby classifiable as footwear insoles of chapter 64, HTS. In this regard, the “Orthofit 9000” is not an orthopedic appliance for tariff purposes.

The applicable subheading for the “Orthofit 9000” will be 6406.99.30, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for parts of footwear, which are removable insoles or heel cushions or the like, and which are essentially rubber and/or plastics. The rate of duty will be 5.3% ad valorem.

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 Richard Foley at 212-637-7089.


Robert B. Swierupski

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