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HQ 084263

June 21, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084263 DSN


TARIFF NO.: 9401.79.0010

Roderick B. MacDonald
MacDonald Paint & Design
1200 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

RE: Classification of folding fishing stools

Dear Mr. MacDonald:

This ruling letter is in reference to your inquiry of March 21, 1989, concerning classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for folding fishing stools produced in China. A brochure was submitted in lieu of samples.


Style number GDF002BP is a folding fishing stool with a backpack. Style GDF002B is a folding fishing stool with a bag. Both styles contain a folding tubular metal frame which is X- shaped. The backpacks and bags are composed of a textile material. The textile cover is sewn to the top of the frame in order to form a seat. Below the seat and attached to it is a bag with a zipper. There is a shoulder strap which is attached to the frame. The dimensions are approximately 20 inches by 16 inches by 15 inches.

The design of the articles indicate that they are both suitable for use as portable stools and as carry-all bags. The articles can easily be used to carry fishing equipment or other merchandise. When carried the bag may be supported by the shoulder strap or held by the top of the X-shaped frame.


How is the merchandise at issue classified under the HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 3 provides for goods which are prima facie classifiable in different headings. No one heading specifically provides for the merchandise at issue. Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for among other things traveling bags, knapsacks and backpacks, sports bags, and similar containers, of textile materials. Heading 9401, HTSUSA, provides for seats (other than those of heading 9402), whether or not convertible into beds, and parts thereof.

GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, are classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. According to the Explanatory Notes which constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, essential character may be determined by the the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. With respect to the merchandise at issue, neither the bag nor the stool imparts the essential character. The bag and the stool have co-equal functions, and therefore classification cannot be determined under GRI 3(b).

GRI 3(c) provides that when goods cannot be classified by GRI 3(a) or 3(b), they are classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which merit consideration. Therefore, pursuant to GRI 3(c), classificatuion is under heading 9401, HTSUSA.


The merchandise at issue is classified under subheading 9401.79.0010, HTSUSA, which provides for seats (other than those of heading 9402), whether or not convertible into beds, and parts thereof, other seats, with metal frames, other, outdoor, with textile covered cushions or textile seating or backing material, and dutiable at the rate of 4 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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