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HQ 080501

July 22, 1988

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 080501 JLJ


TARIFF NO.: 735.06

Ms. Patricia D. Ihnenfeld
ERO Industries Inc.
5940 W. Touhy Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60648

RE: Tariff classification of ski tow ropes

Dear Ms. Ihnenfeld:

You asked our New York office for a tariff classification covering water ski tow ropes from Taiwan. Your request was forwarded to this office for reply (New York reference number 822489). You submitted two samples along with your request.


You believe that both types of samples are classified under the provision for skis and ski equipment, all the foregoing and parts thereof, other, other, in item 735.06, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS).

The first ski tow rope sample is an orange colored rope sample consisting of two parts. The first part is a blue handle consisting of a wood or aluminum cylinder covered with rubber or plastic. The handle is attached to about five feet of rope with a loop on the end. The second part consists of about 72 feet of braided cordage (i.e., rope) with loops at either end. The rope in both parts is eight strand, braided polypropylene monofilaments without a core.

The second sample is a multicolored ski tow rope with a handle portion which is similar to the first. Instead of 72 feet of continuous rope, the second sample is composed of various lengths of rope, each with a loop at both ends. The lengths range from 18 inches to 29 feet in length; they total 71 feet.


Are the two tow ropes classified under the provision for skis and ski equipment in item 735.06, TSUS?


The typical length for a water ski rope is approximately 75 feet. This is verified by both Encyclopedia Americana (1980 edition) and Encyclopedia Brittanica, Micropaedia (1975 edition). Both samples with the handle and rope sections attached are approximately that length. Both are items indispensable for the sport of water skiing.

You state that the multicolored sample is to be used in water ski slalom competition. You indicate that the rope is constructed in such a way that sections can be removed for each successive round of competition.

The orange sample is specifically designed for use in water skiing in that it is the correct length and the rope is made with loops to attach it to the handle and to the boat.

We note that ropes cut to a specific length for use in a sport have previously been classified as sports equipment. In Customs Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 054988 PR of June 21, 1978, this office classified braided nylon rope in 120, 150 and 165 foot lengths specifically designed and sold for use in mountain climbing as sporting equipment in item 735.20, TSUS, rather than as other articles of textile material, not specially provided for, in item 389.62, TSUS.

The instant merchandise is similar in that both samples are ski tow ropes which function to pull water skiers behind boats. We presume that the samples are imported and used as units.

Both samples appear to be dedicated to the sport of water skiing. The parts are packaged together, sold together, and are necessary for water skiing. The joining of the parts creates a new article of commerce -- water ski tow ropes.


The instant samples are water ski tow ropes which are classified under the provision for other ski equipment in item 735.06, TSUS, dutiable at the rate of 5.5 percent ad valorem. Products of Taiwan classified in item 735.06, TSUS, are eligible for duty free entry under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) if all requirements are met.

Under the proposed Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which is scheduled to replace the TSUS, the applicable provision is water skis, surf boards, sailboards and other water-sport equipment; parts and accessories thereof, other, in item 9506.29.00.40, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 4.64 percent. Products of Taiwan classified in this provision are not eligible for duty free entry under the HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director

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