from the United States Court of International Trade in No.
1:11-cv-00532-JCG, Judge Jennifer Choe-Groves.
Michael Peterson, Neville Peterson LLP, New York, NY, argued
for plaintiff-appellant. Also represented by Russell Andrew
Alexander J. Vanderweide, International Trade Field Office,
Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, United States
Department of Justice, New York, NY, argued for
defendant-appellee. Also represented by Chad A. Readler,
Jeanne E. Davidson, Amy Rubin; Beth C. Brotman, Office of the
Assistant Chief Counsel, United States Bureau of Customs and
Border Protection, United States Department of Homeland
Security, New York, NY.
Prost, Chief Judge, Dyk and O'Malley, Circuit Judges.
O'Malley, Circuit Judge.
Inc. ("Sigvaris") appeals the judgment of the
United States Court of International Trade in which the court
found that the subject merchandise is not classified as duty
free under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United
States ("HTSUS") subheading 9817.00.96 as articles
specially designed for the use or benefit of physically
handicapped persons. Sigvaris, Inc. v. United
States, 227 F.Supp.3d 1327 (Ct. Int'l Trade 2017).
Although the Court of International Trade erred in its
analysis, we conclude that it reached the correct result. We
therefore affirm its holding that the subject merchandise
does not qualify for duty-free treatment under HTSUS
is the owner and importer of record of the subject
merchandise. The specific goods at issue are graduated
compression hosiery from three product lines- the 120 Support
Therapy Sheer Fashion series for women, the 145 Support
Therapy Classic Dress series for women, and the 185 Support
Therapy Classic Dress series for men. All of the product
lines exert 15-20 millimeters of mercury ("mmHg")
of compression onto the wearer.
series consists of a variety of models, including pantyhose,
maternity pantyhose, thigh-high hosiery, calf-length hosiery,
and calf-length hosiery with open toe. These models are
"made of a combination of nylon and spandex, and in some
products, also silicone." Id. at 1331. The 145
series and 185 series "are calf-length graduated support
dress socks made of a combination of nylon and spandex."
Id. at 1327. Graduated compression hosiery
"when properly worn, forces pooled blood to circulate
out of the leg and throughout the body." Appellant's
Br. at 3.
September 2008 and November 2010, Sigvaris imported 105
entries of various graduated compression merchandise,
including the subject merchandise, into the United States at
the Port of Atlanta, in Georgia. Customs liquidated the
entries between August 2009 and September 2011.
classified the subject merchandise as "[o]ther graduated
compression hosiery: . . . [o]f synthetic fibers" under
HTSUS subheading 6115.10.40 subject to a duty rate of 14.6%
ad valorem. Id. at 1330.
timely protested the classification of the subject
merchandise, and sought "special classification" as
duty free under HTSUS subheading 9817.00.96. That subheading
Articles specially designed or adapted for the use or benefit
of the blind or other physically or mentally handicapped
persons; parts and accessories (except parts and accessories
of braces and artificial limb prosthetics) that are ...