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NY M80857

February 27, 2006

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:N3:351 M80857


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9889

Robert Decker
Customs Compliance Manager
Mitsubishi Logistics America Corp.
11934 South La Cienega Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250

RE: The tariff classification of hand covers from Japan and the Philippines

Dear Mr. Decker:

In your letter dated January 30, 2006, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Taketora USA.

The submitted samples are described as hand covers. You indicate that one style is made of 100 percent cotton with a polyester/nylon mix mesh on the back, while the other is 100% cotton, with no mesh. They measure approximately 6½” x 11½” and feature woven straps with snaps that are used to secure them. They are worn on the hands but have no separate finger or thumb compartments. You state that the covers are worn by Alzheimer’s patients to avoid scratching themselves.

The style with mesh is made in Japan while the style with no mesh is made in the Philippines.

The applicable subheading for the hand covers will be 6307.90.9889, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for other made up textile articles, other. The rate of duty will be 7% ad valorem. They would not be considered mitts under HTSUS headings 6116 or 6216 as those provisions cover “mitts with separation for thumbs only,” in the words of the relevant Explanatory Notes.

You propose classification under subheading 9817.00.96, HTSUS, which provides for a free rate of duty for certain "[a]rticles specially designed or adapted for the use or benefit of the blind or other physically or mentally handicapped persons...."

If you can establish that your items are neither therapeutic nor diagnostic and are specially designed or adapted for the use or benefit of those suffering from a permanent or chronic physical impairment which substantially limits a major life activity, you would be entitled to claim a secondary classification under subheading 9817.00.96, HTSUS, free of duty (and user fee), if all applicable entry requirements are met. See subheading 9817.00.96, HTSUS, and U.S. Note 4 and Statistical Note 1 to Subchapter 17 of Chapter 98, HTSUS.

We also need additional information in order to issue a ruling:

Provide a translation from the Japanese of the information on the retail packaging and the instructions.

What do you consider to be the major life activity that the user would be substantially limited in that these would aid them in?

How do these items, if at all, differ from the gloves recommended for sufferers of temporary skin disorders, especially children, for wear while sleeping (to prevent scratching and irritating further their skin)?

Are these items sold in any other sizes?

Why are there two different types of gloves? Is each intended for a different purpose or type of patient?

Include a statement as to whether classification advice has been sought from a Customs officer regarding HTS 98170096 for these items; and if so, from whom, and what advice was rendered, if any.

Articles classifiable under subheading 6307.90.9889, HTSUS, that are products of the Philippines are currently entitled to duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) upon compliance with all applicable regulations. The GSP, however, is subject to modification and periodic suspension, which may affect the status of your transaction at the time of entry for consumption or withdrawal from warehouse. To obtain current information on GSP, check our Web site at www.cbp.gov and search for the term "GSP."

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

If you decide to resubmit your request, please include all of the material that we have returned to you and mail your request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Customs Information Exchange, 10th Floor, One Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10119, attn: Binding Rulings Section.

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 subheading 9817.00.96, HTSUS, or the status of these items, contact National Import Specialist James Sheridan at 646-733-3012. If you have any other questions regarding this ruling, contact National Import Specialist Mitchel Bayer at 646-733-3102.


Robert B. Swierupski

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