United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1991 HQ Rulings > HQ 0088548 - HQ 0088639 > HQ 0088630

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 088630

April 30, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088630 JS


TARIFF NO.: 8714.99.9000

Sven Arntzen
Springer A/S
Anolitveien 16
P.O.Box 1314
N-1401 Ski, Norway

RE: "Springer"; bicycle accessory; dog harness/walker; metal, nylon, plastic parts specially fitted for attachment to most bikes; exercise; classifiable heading 8714, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Arntzen:

This is in reference to your letter dated January 11, 1991, requesting classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of a unique product named "Springer" to be imported from Norway.


A packaged sample of the merchandise at issue was provided for our inspection. It is made up of several parts which fit together and are intended for attachment to the frame of a bicycle. The device is designed to hook up to the harness or collar of a dog, so that the dog may be walked alongside the owner while riding a bike.

The main parts, which you state are made of chrome plated steel, include an angled "arm" and a rod measuring approximately 10 inches long which has a 5 inch coiled spring on one end and a 1 1/2 inch loop on the other; the standard nuts and bolts are made of electroplated steel. In addition, there are several plastic parts including a nylon hook, a nylon safety release, a short nylon rope and three plastic inserts. The plastic hook and the standard nuts and bolts (5 x 8mm) are purchased from Sweden; all other parts are manufactured in Norway, including the package.


The literature enclosed with your request depicts numerous photographs of dogs harnessed to the Springer which is attached to a bicycle. Textual references are made to the Springer as "the third hand on your bike"; one of the brochures points out that Springer fits standard ladies' and men's bikes, and may be dismounted and mounted in two seconds. The instruction manual warns that care should be taken when using Springer since it protrudes from the bicycle "and therefore represents to both you and others on the road/path a risk in itself, just like other bicycle accessories (emphasis added) such as luggage racks, baskets, children's seats, trailers etc."


What is the appropriate classification of a dog-walking device designed to be attached to a bicycle, under the HTSUSA.


Classification of merchandise under the tariff is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 8714, HTSUSA, provides for the parts and accessories of vehicles of heading 8711 to 8713. Bicycles are vehicles of heading 8712. The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, provide general notes which guide classification analysis under the terms of the heading. The relevant note states that

This Chapter also covers parts and accessories which are identifiable as being suitable for use solely or principally with the vehicles included therein, subject to the provisions of the Notes to Section XVII.

General Note III of the general explanatory notes of Section XVII defines the term "parts and accessories." It states that the chapter headings refer only to those parts or accessories which comply with all three of the following conditions:

(a) they must not be excluded by the terms of Note 2 to this Section (see paragraph (A) below), and

(b) they must be suitable for use solely or principally with the articles of Chapters 86 to 88 (see paragraph (B) below), and

(c) they must not be more specifically included elsewhere in the Nomenclature


Part (2) of paragraph (A), which excludes parts of general use as defined in Note 2 to Section XV, provides the only possible exclusion of this merchandise. The various parts which make up the Springer may be considered "parts of general use" as defined in the note above (i.e. the nuts and bolts, the spring, etc.) However, GRI 2(a) states that any reference in a heading to an article shall also include a reference to that article complete or finished, entered unassembled or disassembled. Thus, reference to a "part or accessory" of the vehicles of heading 8714 encompasses the Springer itself, which is a complete article forming a "part or accessory" of a bicycle. Importation of this merchandise into the United States unassembled does not disqualify the item as an article. The unassembled parts, therefore, may not be considered separately, and Note 2 does not serve to exclude the Springer from classification under this heading.

The Springer is suitable for use solely or principally with the articles of chapters 86 to 88. Chapter 87 provides for bicycles, and it is clear from the sample, as well as the literature provided, that this merchandise is in fact used solely or principally with a bicycle. It is especially designed to fit the frame of a bike with special clamps and bolts; it extends outward to provide a safe distance between the animal and the vehicle; the spring is constructed so as to reduce the jerking and pulling of the animal while riding. In addition, the weight and structure of the Springer prohibits its use as a manual aid to walking a dog, or in any other way.

The present item is not more specifically included elsewhere in the Nomenclature. Its unique character distinguishes it from the items of other headings, and its function as a non-essential, but specially fitted product, allow classification as an accessory to bicycles of heading 8714. Heading 4201, which provides for saddlery and harness of any animal, of any material, has traditionally included goods characteristic of the leather trade. Customs has ruled, however, that in order to be classified as a product of chapter 42, an item must be characteristic of the leather trade, regardless of the component material. Since the Springer is not used as a trace or lead, muzzle or harness of any kind, it is not considered an item characteristic of the leather trade.

You also ask whether any special marking requirements apply to the product which would necessitate a change in the present marking. Without detailed information concerning how the Springer parts are imported and sold and what method of marking you propose, we cannot give you a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements. However, the following information may be helpful.


Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304) provides, subject to specified exceptions, that every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States shall be legibly, conspicuously, and permanently marked to indicate the country of origin to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), sets forth regulations implementing the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. You indicate that the country of origin of each of the parts is Norway, with the exception of the plastic hook and the standard nuts and bolts, which are made in Sweden. We note that none of the submitted sample parts are marked to indicate their country of origin as required by 19 U.S.C. 1304.

Each of the parts must be marked legibly, conspicuously and permanently with its country of origin, with the exception of the nuts and bolts, and the cord which are excepted from individual marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(J) and 19 CFR 134.33 (the outermost container in which these articles ordinarily reach the ultimate purchaser is required to be marked with the country of origin of these articles).

If the parts comprising the Springer are imported and sold in a sealed container and the container is marked to indicate the country of origin of its contents, an exception from marking the country of origin on the parts themselves may apply. See 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d) (articles for which the marking of the container will reasonably indicate the country of origin may be excepted from individual marking). However, the parts which are marked "patented in Europe and North America" must satisfy the requirements of 19 CFR 134.46 whether or not the parts are imported and sold in a sealed box. If the Springer parts will be repacked in the U.S., the requirements of either 19 CFR 134.26 or 19 CFR 134 may apply. A copy of 19 CFR Part 134 is enclosed. If, after reviewing the pertinent provisions you require further information, please let us know.


The merchandise at issue is classified under subheading 8714.99.9000, HTSUSA, which provides for parts and accessories of vehicles of headings 8711 to 8713: other: other: other, dutiable at the rate of 10 percent ad valorem.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the

restraint (quota/visa) categories, your client should contact its local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling