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HQ 080651

October 31, 1988

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 080651 DC


TARIFF NO.: 8708.99.5090

Mr. Michael O'Neill
O'Neill & Whitaker, Inc.
United States Customs Brokers
19700 Susana Road
Compton, California 90221

RE: Tariff classification of vinyl car mats manufactured in Taiwan

Dear Mr. O'Neill:

Your letter dated June 10, 1987, addressed to our New York office concerning the tariff classification of vinyl car mats, was referred to this office for a direct reply to you.


The merchandise involved consists of vinyl car mats. You intend to import the product in a four piece set, two mats for the forward seats and two for the rear seat.


Are the vinyl floor mats automobile accessories within the purview of Chapter 87, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)?

Do the vinyl car mats fall within the definition of floor coverings for classification purposes under the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS)?


The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Descrip- tion and Coding System constitute the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level. The explanatory notes to heading 87.08, provide in pertinent part that "[p]arts and accessories of this heading include: *** floor mats (other than of textile material or unhardened vulcanized rubber), etc."

The explanatory notes to heading 87.08 also provide:

This heading covers parts and accessories of headings 87.01 to 87.05, provided the parts and accessories fulfil the following conditions:

(1) They must be identifiable as being suitable for use solely or principally with the above-mentioned vehicles; and

(ii) They must not be excluded by the provisions of the notes to section XVII (see the corresponding General Explanatory note).

Although we do not consider the vinyl car mats to be "floor coverings" for the purpose of classification under the TSUS, it is our opinion that the above-cited explanatory note mandates classification of these mats as accessories under heading 8708, HTSUSA. Our rationale for this position is that the vinyl car mats are described in the cited note and they fulfil the conditions of the note, viz, they are suitable for use solely or principally with the motor vehicles of headings 87.01 to 87.05 and they are not excluded from classification under Chapter 87 by the provisions of the notes to section XVII.

Based on the enclosed copy of our ruling dated April 21, 1988 (our file 079710), the vinyl car mats are classifiable under the provision for other articles not specially provided for, of rubber or plastics in item 774.58, TSUS, and dutiable at the rate of 5.3 percent ad valorem.


Under the proposed HTSUSA the applicable subheading is 8708.99.5090 as parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 87.01 to 87.05, other parts and accessories, other, other, other with duty at the rate of 3.1 percent ad valorem.

This classification represents the current position of the Customs Service regarding the dutiable status of the merchandise under the HTSUSA which becomes effective on January 1, 1989. If there are changes before that date this advice may not continue to be applicable.

Under the TSUS the vinyl car mats are classifiable under item 774.58, TSUS.


John Durant, Director

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