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HQ 085827

February 20, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085827 SLR


TARIFF NO.: 8714.99.9000; 9506.39.0080

Mr. Jim Heningman
Heningman Ent.
C 51 S.L.W., R.R. #1
Lone Butte, B.C. Canada

RE: Modification of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 085036, dated July 24, 1989; golf club; bicycle seat cover; furskin

Dear Mr. Heningman:

On July 24, 1989, this office issued HRL 085036 classifying 100 percent sheepskin bicycle seat covers and golf club head covers as other articles of furskin in subheading 4303.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). After much discussion and consideration, we have redetermined the proper classification of these articles.

Under the HTSUSA, classification of merchandise is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes.

Here, two headings describe the subject bicycle seat covers: 4303, articles of apparel, clothing accessories and other articles of furskin; and 8714, parts and accessories of vehicles of headings 8711 to 8713. Similarly, two headings appear applicable to the golf club head covers: 4303, ... other articles of furskin; and 9506, golf clubs and other golf equipment. When goods are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings, GRI 3 must be consulted.

GRI 3(a) directs that the heading which provides the most specific description is to be preferred. This concept of "relative specificity" is one that applies to virtually all tariff nomenclatures, but is one for which it is difficult to lay down hard and fast rules.

This office believes that heading 8714, parts and accessories of vehicles of headings 8711 to 8713, rather than heading 4303, supplies the more specific description of the bicycles seat covers. The Explanatory Notes to heading 8714
indicate that this heading covers parts and accessories of a kind used with motorcycles, as well as non-motorized cycles, provided they fulfill both the following conditions:

(i) 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.

The subject seat covers meet criteria (i) and (ii) above. They are used solely with bicycles and are not excluded by the Section XVII notes. In addition, the Explanatory Notes include saddle covers among those items deemed exemplars of heading 8714. Although not legally binding, the Explanatory Notes do represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level.

Regarding the golf club head covers, heading 9506 for golf clubs and other golf equipment, rather than heading 4303, provides a more specific description for that particular product. The Explanatory Notes for heading 9506 indicate that this heading includes golf balls and golf tees. Since head covers are not explicitly excluded from such coverage, Customs believes that they fall within the ambit of heading 9506.

In accordance with the above determination, the bicycle seat covers are properly classified in subheading 8714.99.9000, HTSUSA, which provides for parts and accessories of vehicles of headings 8711 to 8713, other, other. The rate of duty under the General rate column is 10 percent ad valorem. Goods so classified originating from Canada are dutiable at 8 percent ad valorem.

The golf club head covers are properly classified in subheading 9506.39.0080, HTSUSA, which provides for golf clubs and other golf equipment, parts and accessories thereof, other, other. The General rate of duty is 4.9 percent ad valorem. Goods so classified originating from Canada are dutiable at 3.9 percent ad valorem.

HRL 085036 is hereby modified pursuant to 19 CFR 177.9(d). This modification is effective immediately; however, it shall not be applied retroactively to the classification of goods entered by you or on your behalf in reliance on HRL 085036.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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