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HQ 085190

November 21, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085190 JLJ


TARIFF NO.: 9401.79.0010

Mr. Byron Johnson
McClary, Swift and Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 370
Blaine, Washington 98230

RE: Tariff classification of a camp stool; reconsideration of Customs Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 083718

Dear Mr. Johnson:

You requested a tariff classification for a camp stool with cooler bag imported from Canada, submitting photographs of the item. In HRL 083718 of June 6, 1989, we advised you that the camp stool was classified under the provision for other furniture and parts thereof: other metal furniture: other: other, in subheading 9403.20.0030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


Our New York office has requested a reconsideration of HRL 083718, stating that it believes the correct classification for the camp stool to be under the provision 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, in subheading 9401.79.0010, HTSUSA.

The photographs depict a camp stool with a cooler bag permanently affixed to a steel tubular frame complete with shoulder strap. The top of the frame is covered in order to form a seat. The outside dimensions of the steel tubular frame are 12 inches in width, 14-1/2 inches in length and 12-5/8 inches in height.

The design of the article indicates that it is suitable for use both as a portable camp stool and as a cooler bag. The camp stool can easily be used to cool merchandise. When carried, the bag may be supported by the shoulder strap or held by the top of the X-shaped frame. The seat permits use as a portable stool.


What is the correct classification of the instant camp stool?


HRL 083718 said that three possible tariff provisions could apply to this merchandise: (1) Heading 4202, HTSUSA, which provides for trunks, suitcases, ...knapsacks and backpacks...; (2) Subheading 9401.79.0010, HTSUSA, which provides for seats; or (3) Subheading 9403.20.0030, HTSUSA, which provides for other furniture.

The Explanatory Notes for Heading 9403 state that "This heading covers furniture and parts thereof, not covered by the previous headings." Inasmuch as the instant camp stool is covered by the provision for seats in subheading 9401.79.0010, HTSUSA, subheading 9403.20.0030, HTSUSA, should not have been included in the provisions under consideration.

The design of the camp stool indicates that it is equally suitable for use as a portable camp stool and as a cooler bag. The item can be used to cool merchandise. The seat area permits use as a camp stool. Neither use predominates.

General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(a), HTSUSA, states that when two or more headings refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific. Inasmuch as both Heading 4202 and subheading 9401.79.0010 refer to only part of the components of the camp stool (i.e., the backpack or the stool), they are to be regarded as equally specific under GRI 3(a). GRI 3(b) says that composite goods shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character, but inasmuch as both the backpack and the stool components are equally important, no essential character can be determined for the camp stool.

GRI 3(c) says that when goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading occurring last in numerical order among those equally meriting consideration. Between Heading 4202 and subheading 9401.79.0010, HTSUSA, subheading 9401.79.0010, HTSUSA, occurs last in numerical order; therefore, the camp stool is classifiable there.


The camp stool is classified in subheading 9401.79.0010, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 4 percent ad valorem. Merchandise originating in Canada and classified in this subheading is eligible for a 3.2 percent ad valorem duty rate under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement if all applicable regulations are met. HRL 083718 is modified accordingly.


John Durant, Director

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