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NY H82361

July 5, 2001

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:N3:351 H82361


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9989

Ms. Cecilia Catellanos
Executive Vice President
Western Overseas Corp.
2490 E. Oakton St.
Arlington Hts., IL 60005

RE: The tariff classification of unfinished joint and back supports from Taiwan.

Dear Ms. Catellanos:

In your letter dated June 5, 2001, you requested a ruling on behalf of Pro Orthopedic Devices, Inc. on tariff classification. The samples will be returned as your letter requests.

You have submitted samples of unfinished support braces for elbow, wrist, ankle, knee, and back. According to your letter, the first four (the joint braces) are composed of (by weight) 75% neoprene and 25% nylon/spandex. The nylon is on both exterior surfaces, with the neoprene in between. All of the edges are finished. Each sample is cut to shape to fit around the joint for which it is intended. The largest, which appears to be for the knee, is composed of two shaped pieces. The same is true of the one apparently for the ankle. In each of these two samples, one piece is designed to wrap the joint while the other piece will be used to fasten and tighten the brace. The third, which appears to be for the wrist, is a single piece, 18½” x 3¾” with rounded ends and a notch cut out, presumably for the thumb. The fourth sample, which appears to be for the elbow, also has a piece to wrap the joint, but it has two rectangular strips, each 4¾” x 1¾”, which will apparently fasten the brace.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s) govern classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). GRI 2.(a) states:

Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. It shall also include a reference to that article complete or finished (or falling to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule), entered unassembled or disassembled.

We believe the unfinished support braces for elbow, wrist, ankle, and knee each has the essential character of the complete or finished article. The mere addition of hook-and-loop fasteners will not change this fact substantially.

The applicable subheading for each of these support braces will be 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA), which provides for other made-up textile articles, other. The general rate of duty will be seven percent ad valorem.

Your inquiry does not provide enough information for us to give a classification ruling on the unfinished back support. Your request for a classification ruling should include whether it is a warp or a weft knit and, if it is a warp knit, provide a lap diagram; if it is of pile construction, indicate the number of yarn systems used to produce the knit fabric; the type of machine the knit fabric is produced on; the total weight of the finished laminated fabric as well as the weight of the knit fabric alone; the generic name for the type of rubber used (e.g., neoprene), and exactly what procedures are to finish the item. When this information is available, you may wish to consider resubmission of your request. We are retaining the sample of the back brace to prevent possible loss. If you decide to resubmit your request, please include all of the material that we have returned to you.

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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