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HQ 085910

January 10, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085910 JMH


TARIFF NO.: 8714.94.20

Ronald K. Kolins, Esq.
Moyle, Flanigan, Katz, FitzGerald & Sheehan, P.A. 9th Floor, Barnett Centre
625 North Flagler Drive
Post Office Box 3888
West Palm Beach, Florida 33402

RE: Cantilever bicycle brakes

Dear Mr. Kolins:

This is in response to your request of November 7, 1989, on behalf of Dia-Compe, Inc. ("Dia-Compe") for a classification ruling concerning cantilever bicycle brakes.


Dia-Compe is a producer, assembler and marketer of bicycle caliper brakes, bicycle caliper brake sets, and bicycle caliper brake parts which are imported from Japan. Bicycle caliper brakes consist of a casing-enclosed cable which connects the brake lever to the brake. The brake lever pulls against one brake arm. The tension in the casing compresses the casing, which in turn pushes against the opposite arm of the brake and forces the brake against the rim.

Caliper brakes can be of two varieties. The first, the side-pull variety, has the cable strung around a pivot bolt to the rim which pulls on the side of the arm. The pivot point is also the point of attachment to the frame. The second, the center-pull variety, has the cable mounted from either the seat bolt in the rear or a bracket mounted on the top of the front steering head. The cable then extends to a cable carrier, which connects to the ends of the two brake arms by a cross cable or linkage. Two pivot bolts are mounted on a U-shaped bracket. This bracket is attached to the frame at its center. The pivot bolts are lower and close to the brake shoes on the U bracket, which allows a greater application of force upon the brake shoes.

You contend that the cantilever bike brake is also a form of caliper brake. Cantilever brakes are a type of center-pull brake. The brake shoes are attached to a bell-crank. The center of the bell-crank has a pivot bolt which attaches to a boss that is brazed or clamped directly onto the fork blade or rear seat stay.

Caliper brakes are classified within heading 8714.94.20, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), as "Brakes, including coaster braking hubs and hub brakes, and parts thereof...Caliper brakes..." The duty on these brakes has been suspended under subheading 9902.87.14, HTSUSA. You argue that cantilever brakes should be included within the subheading for caliper brakes, and therefore, their duty would also be suspended.


Should cantilever brakes be included within the term "Caliper brakes" under subheading 8714.94.20, HTSUSA?


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUSA, states in part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes..." Bicycle brakes are classified within heading 8714, HTSUSA. Caliper brakes are provided for eo nomine within subheading 8714.94.20, HTSUSA.

When defining the terms within each heading, this office attempts to use the definitions of the trade or industry in question. The term "caliper brakes" as defined by experts within the bicycle industry covers various types of brakes of both the side-pull and center-pull varieties. In biking literature, the main distinction among the varieties of brakes appears to be between side-pull and center-pull brakes. The focus seems to be on how the cable is strung, not on the type or size of brake arms or how the brake arms are attached to the bicycle frame.

Within the biking industry cantilever brakes are referred to as another type of center-pull brake. See D. de la Rosa & M. Kolin, The Ten Speed Bicycle, p. 27 (1979); F. DeLong, DeLong's GUIDE to Bicycles & Bicycling, p.113 (1978). The cantilever brake is a type of center-pull brake that evolved as brake technology advanced. Since the center-pull brake is among the family of caliper brakes, it is the opinion of this office that for classification purposes the cantilever brake, a center-pull
brake, is also within the class of caliper brakes. Therefore, cantilever brakes are properly classified within subheading 8714.94.20, HTSUSA.


Cantilever brakes are considered to be within the class of caliper brakes for classification purposes. They are properly classified within subheading 8714.94.20, HTSUSA, as "Brakes, including coaster braking hubs and hub brakes, and parts thereof...Caliper brakes..."


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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