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NY N004793

January 9, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9889; 9817.00.96

J. R. Landa
Unit International, Inc.
644 Cesery Blvd., Suite 200
Jacksonville, FL 32211

RE: The tariff classification of a gait belt from China

Dear Mr. Landa:

In your letter dated Dec. 11, 2006, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client PSS World Medical, Inc., of Jacksonville.

You submitted a sample of an item called a gait belt, labeled 252071#A (868#). The belt is made of a heavy woven fabric. It measures approximately 2” wide by 60” long, with a metal tip at one end and a metal buckle at the other. In an attached letter, PSS states that these are used to prevent a patient from falling out of a wheel chair or bed.

The applicable subheading for the gait belt 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.

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/.

In your letter you state that you believe this item qualifies for duty-free treatment under subheading 9817.00.96, HTSUS, as an article specially designed or adopted for the use or benefit of the blind or other physically or mentally handicapped persons.

On the World Wide Web (healthtouch.com) we found the following description to be the usual meaning of Gait Belt and to be consistent with the your sample.

What is it? A gait belt is a safety device used for moving a person from one place to another. The belt is also used to help hold up a weak person while they walk. Putting this belt around a person's waist allows helpers to grip it and keep the person from falling. It also decreases the chance of a helper hurting his back while helping a person move or walk.

Why is a gait belt needed? A person may need to wear a gait belt because he is too weak to stand or walk alone. A person may need it when going from one place to another, like from the bed to a chair.

What kinds of belts are used? There are several kinds of gait belts. Usually a gait belt is about 1-1/2 to 4 inches (3.8 to 10 centimeters) wide and 54 to 60 inches (137 to 152 centimeters) long. The belt is made of canvas, nylon, or leather with a buckle at one end.

From those descriptions, especially the fact that it is used for assisted walking (presumably the source of its name), we believe it would be used routinely to benefit those with a permanent or chronic impairment which substantially limits the major life activities of walking and standing, not those with an acute or transient disability. See Chapter 98, Subchapter 17, US Note 4(b), HTSUS.

On that basis a secondary classification will apply for this item 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 with the Customs port of entry of the U.S. Department of Commerce form ITA-362P. Note that this classification has no effect on any quota, visa, or restricted merchandise requirements.

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 classification of this item in subheading 9817.00.96, 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.


Robert B. Swierupski

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