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HQ 084694

August 29, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084694 JBW


TARIFF NO.: 9506.51.6000

Mr. Raymond F. Martin
National Traffic Manager
Spalding Sports Worldwide
425 Meadow Street
P. O. Box 901
Chicopee, MA 01021-0901

RE: Tennis Racket Cover

Dear Mr. Martin:

Your letter of May 1, 1989, on behalf of Spalding Sports Worldwide, addressed to our New York office, has been referred to this office for reply concerning the classification of tennis racket covers under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The sample submitted for classification is a tennis racket cover. The cover is constructed to fit the shape of a single racket with outer and inner surfaces of plastic sheeting and with felt and foam padding between the sheeting. At the handle end, the cover has a 17 centimeter strip of plastic mesh on one side to expose the racket handle. A zipper opens the cover along one edge. The sample cover submitted does not have a handle or shoulder strap and is open at the butt end. You requested, however, that we also consider racket covers designed with handles or closed at the butt end.


How are tennis racket covers, designed to fit the shape of a single racket, with or without handles, and opened or closed at the butt end classified under the HTSUSA?


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) set forth the legal framework in which merchandise is to be classified under the HTSUSA. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's taken in order.

Heading 9506, HTSUSA, provides for parts and accessories to lawn-tennis rackets. Note 3 to Chapter 95 states that, subject to the exclusions of Note 1, parts and accessories that are "suitable for use solely or principally with articles of this Chapter are to be classified with those articles."

The sample is a racket cover that precisely fits the shape of a single racket and is suitable for use solely with a tennis racket. Consequently, the sample, as submitted, is classified under subheading 9506.51.6000, HTSUSA, as an accessory to lawn-tennis rackets. Moreover, provided the cover is designed for sole or principal use with a racket, a cover design that includes handles or straps or that is closed at the butt end would still be classified as an accessory under subheading 9506.51.6000, HTSUSA. However, additional features, for example a bag that permits the user to carry items of clothing, would likely remove articles with such features from this heading.


The tennis racket cover, regardless of whether it is designed with a handle or shoulder strap or whether it is closed at the butt end, is classified under subheading 9506.51.6000, HTSUSA, as an accessory to a lawn-tennis racket, and is subject to a rate of duty of 3.1 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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