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HQ 086091

January 11, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086091 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6306.22.1000

Mr. Michael O'Neill
O'Neill & Whitaker, Inc.
1809 Baltimore Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64108

RE: Portable tent with a carry bag over 30 inches in length is a backpacking tent. T.D. 86-163;weight;guidelines;assembly;height; TSUS

Dear Mr. O'Neill:

This is in reply to your letter of October 5, 1989, concerning the tariff classification of a tent, produced in Korea, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Please reference your client Daisy Manufacturing Company.


The merchandise at issue is a QuickPitch~ ICOSA 2086 four person tent, in a cylindrical package with two long carrying straps, with stated specifications as follows.

Tent Fabric
Tent Frame
Floor Dimensions:
(103.0" diameter)
Tent Height:
Floor Sq. Footage:
Carry Bag Dimen.:
Tent Weight:
12 Pounds
Four-Color Display
Box Dimensions:
6.8" x 8" x 36"
Canopy Material:
174 T "Rip-Stop"
Tent Fly, Floor,
Sidewalls & Carry
190 T Nylon Taffeta
Windows, Roof Vents and Screen Door:
"No-See-Um" Mesh
Urethane Coating:
Hub Material:
"Tough Nylon 66"
Fiberglass Composite
Fiberglass Strut
8.5mm x 838.2mm
Polyethylene Tent
When fully assembled, the tent floor measures 103.0" (diameter), and the height reaches 51.0". The tent features a patented QuickPitch~ frame system, rapid set-up and takedown, double stitching and binding tape on all seams, window awnings on rain-flys, two extra-large storage pockets, brass grommets, and a nylon stuff sack with wraparound web handle.


Whether the instant merchandise is considered a backpacking tent under the HTSUSA?


Heading 6306, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, tents. The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:

... classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes ....

Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRIs, taken in order.

Note 1 to Chapter 63, HTSUSA, states that heading 6306 applies only to made up articles of textile fabrics. The tent consists of three components, not all of which are textile materials: the coated nylon that makes up the tent canopy, floor, walls and carry bag, the polyethylene tent stakes, and the nylon/fiberglass composite frame. The merchandise at issue, however, is provided for eo nomine in this chapter.

It would be incorrect to introduce GRI 3 (the component which imparts the essential character of the article governs classification) at the heading level as the basis for determining whether the Chapter 63, Note 1 limitation for made up articles, "of any textile fabric," included the subject tent. As the Explanatory Note to this heading, which constitutes the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, classifies tents in this heading whether or not presented complete with their poles, pegs, and other accessories, we can conclude that the tent is a made up article of textile fabric, and that subheading 6306.22 (tents of synthetic fibers) applies by means of GRI 1. See HRL 085550 of December 8, 1989 (screenhouses).

Subheading 6306.22.1000, HTSUSA, provides for backpacking tents of synthetic fibers. Backpacking tents have not been defined at the international level. Indeed, classification of backpacking tents, as opposed to other types of tents, is an issue only at the U.S. breakout level. It is our opinion, therefore, that determinations under the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), while not binding, are persuasive in this matter.
In The Newman Importing Co., Inc. v. United States, 76 Cust. Ct. 143, C.D. 4648 (1976), the Court held that backpacking was a sport. It was therefore made necessary that we distinguish between tents used for backpacking and tents used for other purposes. In T.D. 86-163, the Customs Service revised previously issued guidelines concerning classification of imported backpacking tents. We noted that the only sensible method of determining a tent's eligibility for classification as a backpacking tent was by quantifying its size and weight. As a result, to qualify as sports equipment (backpacking tents were classified therein under the TSUS (tents are excluded from the sports equipment provisions of the HTSUSA by Note 1(u) to Chapter 95)), the following criteria had to be met:

(1) It must be specifically designed for the sport of backpacking.

(4) If designed for 3 or 4 persons, the tent must meet the following criteria:

(a) Have a floor area of 65 square feet or less; and

(b) Weigh 12 pounds or less, in cluding tent bag and all accessories necessary to pitch the tent; and

(c) Have a carry size of 30 inches or less in length and 10 inches or less in diameter.

The instant article has a carry size of 35", disqualifying it from classification as a backpacking tent under the TSUS guidelines. It has been suggested, however, that such classification should be allowed under HTSUSA. We agree. The instant article is clearly designed as a backpacking tent. The difference in carry size length is negligible when considered with the tent's other dimensions. The low center height, a typical feature of backpacking tents, would not allow the user to stand. In addition, rapid tent assembly, a feature of the Quick Pitch~ frame system, is a necessity for backpackers who may confront unexpected changes in weather.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 6306.22.1000, HTSUSA, as tarpaulins, awnings and sunblinds, tents, sails for boats, sailboards or landcraft, camping goods, tents, of synthetic fibers, backpacking tents. The applicable rate of duty is 4.64 percent ad valorem. The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the re straint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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