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HQ 081766

September 26, 1988

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 081766 c


TARIFF NO.: 9406.99.9000

Jayne A. Czik, Esq.
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz
& Silverman
Counselors at Law
12 East 49th Street
New York, New York 10017

RE: Tariff classification of golf shoe spikes and a kit of replacement spikes with a plastic wrench manufactured in England

Dear Ms. Czik:

Your letter dated December 28, 1987, addressed to our New York office concerning the tariff classification of golf shoe spikes and a kit of replacement spikes with a plastic wrench, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), has been referred to this office for a direct reply to you. Samples have been submitted for examination.


The sample designated as item No. 3 is golf shoes spikes consisting of steel tipped spikes solidly encased in a plastic mount that has been threaded to fit into holes on a plastic sole and heel plate. You state that these spikes are 75 percent plastic and 25 percent steel by weight and are in chief value of plastic.

The sample designated as item No. 4 is a set of replacement spikes which are slightly larger than those described above together with a specially designed plastic wrench that is used to screw the spikes into place. The wrench and spikes are packaged and sold to the consumer together as a unit.


What material gives the golf shoe spikes their essential character?

Are the replacement spikes packaged with the plastic wrench considered a set for tariff purposes?


The competing provisions involved are subheading 6406.99.3060, HTSUSA, as parts of footwear, of rubber or plastics, other and subheading 6406.99.9000, HTSUSA, as parts of footwear, other, other.

General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 2(b), HTSUSA, provides in part that "[t]he classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principle of Rule 3."

GRI 3, HTSUSA, provides as follows:

3. When, by application of Rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are Prima facie, classified under two or more headings, classifica- tion shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general descrip- tion. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or pre- cise description of the goods.

(b) Mixtures, composite goods con- sisting of different materials or made up of different compo- nents, and goods put up in sets
for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to
3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, inso- far as to this criterion is applicable.

The golf shoe spikes identified as item No. 3 are essentially metal spikes enclosed in plastic. They are used on golf shoes primarily as replaceable metal spikes and their durability and ground penetration are directly attributable to the metal component. For these reasons it is our opinion that metal constitutes the essential character of the golf shoe spikes

In view of the foregoing, it is our position that the golf shoe spikes are classifiable under the provision for parts of footwear, other, other in subheading 6406.99.9000, HTSUSA, and dutiable at the rate of 18 percent ad valorem.

The Explanatory Notes for GRI 3 state that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods that:

(a) consist of at least two different articles prima facie classifiable in different headings (or, by GRI 6, subheadings).

(b) consist of products or articles put together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users with- out repacking.

The replacement spikes and wrench designated as item No. 4 constitute a set in that they meet all the requirements listed in the Explanatory Notes for GRI 3. Specifically, the spikes and wrench are prima facie classifiable in different headings. They are put up together to meet a particular need. In this instance the need is a mode for attaching new spikes to the golf shoes and removing worn or broken spikes. Clearly, the essential character of the kit is imparted by the plastic/metal spikes.

In this instance a second determination must be made concerning the material which gives the kit its essential character since it consists of both metal and plastic parts. When considering the plastic/metal golf spikes by themselves, we concluded that metal gave the spikes their essential character. If we consider the combination article with the large mass of the plastic wrench included, it appears that the presence of a much greater volume of plastic should dictate the essential character of the whole as plastic. However, it is our opinion that the metal which imparts the essential character to the spikes also gives the kit its essential character. Consequently, the kit consisting of the spikes and wrench is classifiable in the same manner as the spikes.


The golf shoe spikes and the kit of replacement spikes are classifiable under subheading 6406.99.9000, HTSUSA, as parts of footwear, other, other, with duty at the rate of 18 percent ad valorem.

This classification represents the current position of the Customs Service regarding the dutiable status of the merchandise under the proposed HTSUSA. If there are any changes before enactment this advice may not continue to be applicable.


John Durant, Director

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