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NY L80097

October 12, 2004

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:N3:351 L80097


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9889

Ms. Eleanore Kelly-Kobayashi
Rode & Qualey
55 West 39th St.
New York, NY 10018

RE: The tariff classification of back support belt from China.

Dear Ms. Kelly-Kobayashi:

This letter replaces the ruling letter we sent to you under file number K89723. The purpose of this replacement letter is to correct the style numbers. A corrected letter follows.

In your letter dated Sept. 20, 2004, you requested a ruling on behalf of Becton Dickinson and Co., of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, on tariff classification.

The submitted sample, identified as Product number 483017, is an adjustable back support brace in size small/medium. The back brace is composed of neoprene, nylon, and spandex. It is adjustable with hook-and-loop fastener fabric for variable support. The item is approximately 8½” wide in the area to be positioned over the lumbo-sacral area, narrowing down to approximately 5½” for the portion that closes in front. The support has a dual strap system to ensure correct posture and abdominal support. In addition, there is a lumbar pad and two permanent stays on each side for additional support; you describe these stays as rigid, but they are in fact quite flexible. The packaging insert shows it worn over clothing. This product is also available in size large with a number 483018.

The applicable subheading for this these braces will be 6307.90.9889, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other made up textile articles, other. The general rate of duty will be seven percent ad valorem.

In your letter, you propose classification in heading 9021, HTS, which provides for, inter alia, orthopedic appliances. However, the merchandise does not rise to the level of an orthopedic appliance of heading 9021. Although the belt is advertised and designed to support the lower back, the design does not distinguish them from ordinary corsets and belts since they do not correct scoliosis and curvature of the spine. See Note EN 90.21(10). Further, although it contains stays, it does not contain rigid parts or pieces of fabric or bands to meet the terms of Note 10(c) of EN 90.21, since the belts in their entirety lack rigidity, as they easily bend and fold. Consequently, we do not find the belts to be indistinguishable from other ordinary belts that may also be designed to support or hold.

In addition, classification in heading 9021 would be contrary to the Modification of a Ruling Letter relating to a lumbar support published in the Customs Bulletin of October 23, 2002, and Decision 8 relating to a reinforced lumbar support belt in the Listing of Classification Decisions of the Harmonized System Committee (25th Session – March 2000).

The sample will be returned as requested.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R.).

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 646-733-3102.


Robert B. Swierupski

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