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NY M87847

December 5, 2006

CLA-2-66:RR:NC:N3:351 M87847


TARIFF NO.: 6602.00.0000, 9021.10.0090, 9817.00.96

James Gallagher
CH Robinson
14800 Charlson Road, Suite 400
Eden Prairie, MN 55347

RE: The tariff classification of canes and crutches from China and Taiwan

Dear Mr. Gallagher:

In your letter dated October 27, 2006, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Apothecary Products, of Burnsville, Minn.

The items in question include various walking canes made of wood or metal, including a folding cane and a quad cane, so-called because it has four legs for greater stability.

The applicable subheading for the canes will be 6602.00.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for walking-sticks, seat-sticks, whips, riding-crops, and the like. The duty rate will be 4% ad valorem.

You also seek the classification of a Push-button Aluminum Crutch and Wooden Crutches. These are distinguished from walking-sticks, even if specially made for disabled persons, per Harmonized System Explanatory Note I to its 90.21.

The applicable subheading for the crutches will be 9021.10.0090, HTSUS, which provides for, inter alia, "other" Orthopedic Appliances, including crutches, surgical belts and trusses. The rate of duty will be free.

You request duty free treatment for these articles under subheading 9817.00.92, which was inserted into the tariff to implement the Nairobi Protocol. The Nairobi Protocol to the Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Materials Act of 1982 established the duty-free treatment for certain articles for the handicapped. Presidential Proclamation 5978 and Section 1121 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 provided for the implementation of the Nairobi Protocol into subheadings 9817.00.92, 9817.00.94 and 9817.00.96 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

Regarding your question concerning a possible classification in subheading 9817.00.92, HTSUS, for the canes and crutches, Headquarters Ruling Letter 556532, dated June 18, 1992, ruled that canes, including white and red folding canes for the blind or visually impaired, are described by subheading 9817.00.96. HRL 563142 EAC, dated Feb. 18, 2005, ruled that additional canes were so described. On the other hand, HRL 556532 ruled that the crutches were not described by subheading 9817.00.96 because they are the class or kind that are used by individuals with acute or transient disabilities. This excludes them from subheadings 9817.92-.96 due to US Note (4)(b)(i) to Subchapter 17 to Chapter 98, HTSUS.

On that basis a secondary classification will apply to the canes in subheading 9817.00.96, HTSUS, as specially designed or adapted for the use or benefit of the permanently or chronically physically or mentally handicapped, free of duty and user fees (if any), if all applicable entry requirements are met, including the filing of the U.S. Department of Commerce form ITA-362P with the Customs port of entry. Note that this classification has no effect on any quota, visa, or restricted merchandise requirements.

A secondary classification in subheadings 9817.00.94-.96, HTSUS, will not apply to the crutches.

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/.

Your inquiry does not provide enough information for us to give a classification ruling on the other items in your request. Your request for a classification ruling should include a list of the component material and the value of each for the cane seat; a sample of the reacher; samples or a description of the components of the crutch and walker covers; the exact name of the material that the crutch tips are made of; a sample of the cane holder; and samples of the ice safety tip and hand loop. When this information is available, you may wish to consider resubmission of your request. However, you must limit your ruling request to no more than five representative items.

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 subheadings 9817.00.92-.96, HTSUS, contact National Import Specialist J. Sheridan at 646-733-3012. If you have any other questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Mitchel Bayer at 646-733-3102.

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


Robert B. Swierupski

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