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HQ 086659

June 26, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086659 KWM


TARIFF NO.: 9506.99.6080

Mr. P. Todd Fredette
A. N. Deringer, Inc.
30 West Service Road
Champlain, New York 12919-9703

RE: Children's Snowboards

Dear Mr. Fredette:

We have received your correspondence dated February 23, 1990, regarding the classification of "snowboards for children." Your letter on behalf of Norca Industries, Ltd. and illustrative literature describing the goods were forwarded to this office for reply. The classification of these goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States is provided below.


No samples of the merchandise to be imported were included with your request. However, the illustrative literature referenced above, and our experience with similar goods, provide us with sufficient information to classify these goods.

The "snowboards" at issue here are described as "Sno-Hog Snowboards" and "Norca Toys" in the literature. They range from 124 to 140 centimeters in length, and 28 to 33 centimeters in width. The shape of each is similar to that of a traditional alpine ski. Several of the models have blunted points on the end, others are rounded. Two of the models have "cracked steel edges." All of the models are constructed of "reinforced polypropylene or Noryl material." It is our understanding that all of the illustrated models are imported from Canada, with bindings attached.


How are the children's snowboards classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relevant Section or Chapter Notes. Then, if GRI 1 fails to classify the goods, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may be applied, taken in order.

We have examined the applicability of subheading 9506.11.4000, HTSUSA, to snowboards in general. That subheading provides for:

9506 Articles and equipment for gymnastics, athletics, other sports (including table tennis) or outdoor games, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; swimming pools and wading pools; parts and accessories thereof:
Snow-skis and other snow-ski equipment; parts and accessories thereof:
9506.11 Skis and parts and accessories thereof, except ski poles:

9506.11.4000 Other skis........................

Snowboards if not provided for in the above subheading are classified under the provision for other sports equipment, subheading 9506.99.6080, HTSUSA.

Our inquiry here focuses on whether or not these goods are considered skis for tariff purposes. We have determined that they are not skis for the reasons set out below.

The HTSUSA provision for skis is sub-divided into two categories: cross-country skis and "other" skis. The "other skis" subheading is a basket provision which includes primarily, if not solely, traditional alpine or downhill skis. "Skis" of subheading 9506.11.4000, HTSUSA, are devices used for traveling downhill by gliding over snow. In addition, for snowboards to fall within the subheading they must also possess several other features associated with skis. These include not only the shape but also manufacturing similarities, performance characteristics, safety features, ruggedness, suitability to serious amateur or professional use, and marketing/sales aspects, to name a few. In short, it is an overall evaluation of the product as a whole and a balancing of many factors which lead us to classify goods in subheading 9506.11.4000, HTSUSA.

We find in this case that the instant merchandise does not exhibit sufficient similarity to "skis" as defined in subheading 9506.11.4000, HTSUSA. While the shape may be the same, the literature does not establish that the performance, ruggedness and suitability to serious amateur use is sufficient for inclusion under the skis provision. The literature clearly markets these goods as "toys", intended for casual, recreational use rather than in commercial ski areas. Further, we do not find ample support for a finding that these goods are within the common meaning of the term "skis", nor are they sufficiently accepted in the trade as such. We do not base this classification on the fact that children use these products. Children's alpine skis are generally nothing but reduced scale versions of adult models. Such is not the case with the subject snowboards. The features and construction of the children's snowboards in this case differ markedly from those of adult snowboards. These are more closely aligned with other products used for snow recreation activities than with the skis of subheading 9506.11.4000, HTSUSA.


The subject snowboards for children are classified as other sporting goods equipment of subheading 9506.99.6080, HTSUSA. The ordinary rate of duty on these goods is 4.64 percent ad valorem. However, you have indicated that these goods are manufactured in Canada. Therefore, they may be entitled to a reduced rate of duty, 3.7 percent ad valorem, if the qualifying rules for country of origin are met under the provisions of the Canada Free Trade Agreement.


John A. Durant
Commercial Rulings Division

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