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HQ 086567

May 14, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086567 WAW


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.1500

Ms. Christy Miller
Nike, Inc.
900 S.W. Nimbus Drive
Beaverton, Oregon 97005-7198

RE: Racket Bag

Dear Ms. Miller:

This ruling is in response to your letter, dated January 19, 1990, requesting the proper tariff classification of a racket bag under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample of the article at issue was submitted along with your request.


The sample bag has two main padded zipper compartments for rackets, one front slash zipper pocket, and two smaller zipper compartments for balls and small items located on the underside of the bag. The bag is equipped with a carry handle with a cuff as well as an adjustable padded shoulder strap.

The bag is constructed of twelve ounce 100% cotton acid wash denim (woven) and has 100% nylon (woven) panels at the two main zippered closures. The composition by weight of the textile portions which comprise the outer surface of the bag is the following:

Nylon 420 Denier: 0.095 kg (95 g)/33%
Cotton Denim: 0.193 kg (193g)/67%

The bag is lined with polyvinyl chloride. The bag will be imported from Taiwan.

You have asked us to confirm that the sample racket bag is properly classifiable under subheading 4202.92.1500, HTSUSA. We agree with your classification of the merchandise for the reasons discussed below.


What is the proper classification of the racket bag under the HTSUSA?


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) set forth the manner 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 4202, HTSUSA, governs, among other things, "[t]runks, suitcases. . .and similar containers; traveling bags, toiletry bags. . .handbags. . .sports bags. . .and similar containers, of leather. . .of plastic sheeting, of textile materials. . . ." Subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA, provides for "[t]ravel, sports, and similar bags." The Explanatory Notes, which constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, to Heading 4202, HTSUSA, state that:

The expression "sports bags" includes articles such as golf bags, gym bags, tennis racket carrying bags, ski bags and fishing bags.

It is Customs position that the sample racket bag falls under Heading 4202, HTSUSA. Sports bags are specifically enumerated in subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA. Moreover, the Explanatory Notes to Heading 4202, HTSUSA, state that tennis racket carrying bags are included in the definition of a "sports bag." Thus, based on the language of the tariff and the relevant Explanatory Notes, we have determined that the sample racket bag fits the definition of a "sports bag" in the nomenclature, since the bag is designed to carry or transport, among other things, tennis rackets, articles of clothing, and athletic footwear.

Customs has previously held, in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084694, dated August 30, 1989, that a tennis racket cover is classifiable under subheading 9506.51.6000, HTSUSA, as an accessory to lawn-tennis rackets. It is Customs position that the tennis racket cover in HRL 084694 can be distinguished from the racket bag in the instant case. In HRL 084694, the tennis racket cover was principally designed to fit tightly over the head of a racket. In the case at issue, the sample merchandise is not uniquely designed to hold or cover a particular tennis racket and may be used to carry or transport tennis rackets as well as articles of clothing and athletic footwear.


Based on the foregoing analysis, the sample racquet bag is properly classifiable under subheading 4202.92.1500, HTSUSA, which provides for travel, sports and similar bags, with outer surface of textile materials: Of vegetable fibers and not of pile or tufted construction: Of cotton. Articles classified under this subheading are subject to a rate of duty of 7.2 percent ad valorem. Articles classified under this subheading fall within textile category designation 369 and as products of Taiwan are subject to quota restrictions and visa requirements.

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 internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

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


John Durant, Director

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