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NY G86653

February 6, 2001

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:N3:351 G86653


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9989, 9021.19.8500

Ms. Michelle L. Carter
Fritz Companies, Inc.
100 Walnut St., Door 20
P.O.Box 2874
Champlain, NY 12919

RE: The tariff classification of an ankle brace, an elbow brace, and a back brace from Italy.

Dear Ms. Carter:

In your letter dated January 23, 2001, you requested a ruling on behalf of Make It Happen International, Inc., on tariff classification.

Your letter included three samples, an ankle brace, an elbow brace, and a back brace.

Product number 580, Thermo-pan Lumblock, is a textile waistband with elastic bands, hook-and-loop fasteners, and a large pocket in the back plus a separate textile-plastic board in a sealed wrapping. The board is approximately 13” long x 6” high x .2” thick. According to its packaging, it is a “Pain Reliever, Individually Molded Low Back Support.” According to the instructions, a health care professional will heat it in a hydrocollator oven to soften it and then carefully shape it against the individual patient’s back. After it has cooled and hardened, it is placed in the pocket in the back of the waistband, which keeps it in place. The packaging states, “For Professional Use Only,” and that appears consistent with the danger involved and the skill required. The special design of the item, for an individual patient, distinguishes it from ordinary corsets and belts. It can clearly provide much more support to particular areas of the patient’s lower back following fracture or surgery than items with standardized stays.

The applicable subheading for item 580 will be 9021.19.8500 HTS, which provides for other orthopedic appliances (including crutches, surgical belts, and trusses) and other fracture appliances. The general rate of duty will be free. The sample will be returned as requested.

Product number 16, the Extra Ankle Lock, is made of 45% polyamide, 40% cotton and 15% elastam, which is apparently an elastomeric fiber. It slips over the ankle and tightens with a crossover elastic band to provide extra compression and prevent ankle inversion; the band is sewn to the brace and fastens with hook-and-loop strips. This sample will be returned as requested.

Product number 39, the Tennis Elbow Bracelet, is made of 40% cotton, 35% polyamide, 15% elastam, and 10% rigid pad material, which appears to be a non-textile rubber or plastic. Please be aware that fiber content is determined by the weight of the textile materials only. The bracelet is designed to be wrapped around the arm and tightened with adjustable hook-and-loop fastener strips on laces. This sample was damaged in examination but will be returned as requested.

The applicable subheading for this product will be 6307.90.9989, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other made-up articles, other. The general rate of duty will be seven percent ad valorem.

You have suggested that these items are all classifiable in subheading 9021.19.8500 HTS. However, they are both excluded from Chapter 90 by its Note 1(b), which excludes supporting belts or other support articles of textile material, whose intended effect on the organ to be supported or held derives solely from their elasticity (for example, supports for joints or muscles); the note refers such items to Section XI, wherein subheading 6307.90.9989 resides.

We note that the only country of origin information is that the Pain Reliever’s package states, “Manufactured and Distributed by: CMO, INC., 197 Second Street S.W., Baberton, Ohio 44203.” We also note that the submitted sample is not marked with the country of origin, which your letter states is Italy. Therefore, if imported as is, the sample submitted will not meet the country of origin marking requirement of 19 U.S.C. §1304. Accordingly, the item would be considered not legally marked under the provisions of 19 C.F.R. §134.11 which states “every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit.”

Further, 19 C.F.R. §134.46 provides that in any case where the words “U.S.,” “American,” or any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the U.S. appear on any imported article or its container, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters or name, and at least in a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by “Made in,” “Product of,” or other words of similar meaning.

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 Mitchel Bayer at 212-637-7086.


Robert B. Swierupski

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