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NY I84538

August 1, 2002

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:N1:105 I84538


TARIFF NO.: 9019.10.2010

Ms. Susan L. Tolot
FedEx Trade Networks
6730 Middlebelt Road
Romulus, MI 48174

RE: The tariff classification of a Thera Suit from Poland

Dear Ms. Tolot:

In your letter dated July 25, 2002, for Therasuit LLC, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You state, “the merchandise in which we are seeking a ruling for is called a Thera Suit, which was created for use by physical therapists and parents alike for the rehabilitation of persons with cerebral palsy, both during therapy time and out of clinical settings.

The Thera Suit is manufactured in Poland and consists of a system of adjustable elastic cords attached to a wide belt worn at the hip and joint area and connected with shoes and knee pads. The suit helps to ‘rewire’ and re-train the central nervous system in addition to creating new reflexes.”

We agree that that the item is appropriately called a physical therapy apparatus. While parents can be trained to take over the job from professional physical therapists, professionals are needed to initially adapt it to the individual, to do the first exercises with the patient, which are routinely so painful that, in the first week, “the children cried a lot, mostly from sore muscles,’ and to train the parents, who will then be acting as surrogate therapists for their child. The item seems to be targeted overwhelmingly at children with Cerebral Palsy, which requires the strengthening and stretching of muscles routinely different than those exercised in general physical training to improve health. You state, “the system of elastic connectors topographically mirrors the arrangement of flexor and extensor muscles, trunk rotators, and lower limbs.” The sample has over a dozen rubber bungie cords with “knots” to make them attachable at different lengths to the dozens of plastic hooks on the textile pieces, worn around the patient’s chest, thighs and ankles. These are sufficient to be simple mechanical devices per Explanatory Note I to Harmonized System Heading 90.19.

You propose a classification, more precisely a secondary classification, in HTS 9817.00.96. However, you describe your item as used in therapy, and therapeutic articles are excluded from that HTS by U.S. Note 4-b-iii to Subchapter 17 to HTS Chapter 98. Unlike hip or dental prostheses, these items are used exclusively during the therapy session. While the effects are intended to improve the patient’s movement when the therapy session is concluded, the sample does not directly participate in that facilitation.

The applicable subheading for the Thera Suit will be 9019.10.2010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for mechano-therapy apparatus. The rate of duty will be free. .

***The sample is being returned to you in a separate mailing.

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 J. Sheridan at 646-733-3012.


Robert B. Swierupski

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