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 > 1992 HQ Rulings > HQ 0000112 - HQ 0088511 > HQ 0088021

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 088021

December 11, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 088021 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 6403.19.45; 6403.19.60; 9506.70.20; 9506.70.60

4330 West 25th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55416

RE: Skating boots/roller frames, unassembled

Dear Gentlemen:

In a letter dated August 20, 1990, you inquired as to the tariff classification of roller skates and roller skate accessories under the Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


Samples of the merchandise produced in the Netherlands were submitted for examination. They consist of a leather skating boot with an internal support structure made of a thin layer of kevlar/fiberglass. Two metal connection discs are implanted in the base of the boot. The roller frame component consists of an aluminum frame housing five in-line rubber wheels. This frame is connected to the skating shoe's metal discs with fasteners and extends somewhat beyond the length of the shoe.

A sample ice blade was submitted. It is described as an optional item which may be interchanged with the roller frame and attached to the boot in the same manner as the roller frame. This ice blade is made entirely of a steel/chromium alloy and has plastic tips at the extreme front and rear of the blade.

You indicate that the boots and roller frames will be imported in an unassembled condition, i.e., the roller skate boots and roller frames, presumably in the same shipping carton, will not be attached in any manner. You also inform us that all ice blades are shipped separately from the roller skate boots and frames.


Are the boots and roller frames imported in an unassembled condition classifiable as ice skates and roller skates, including skating boots with skates attached?


In applying the HTSUSA, the Customs Service must follow the terms of the statute. Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's taken in order]."

Subheading 9506.70.2000, HTSUSA, provides for articles and equipment for gymnastics, athletics, other sports (including table-tennis) or outdoor games, ice skates and roller skates, including skating boots with skates attached, roller skates and parts and accessories thereof.

Note 1(g) to Chapter 95, HTSUSA, provides that "[t]his chapter does not cover: Sports footwear (other than skating boots with ice or roller skates attached) of chapter 64, or sports headgear of chapter 65." A literal reading of this exclusionary language seems to indicate that the unattached boot here would be classified in Chapter 64 in spite of the fact that the boot is uniquely designed for use only with the roller frame it is shipped in the same carton with.

Noting that the subject merchandise, in its condition as imported, is composed of unassembled parts that when assembled form a complete roller skate, your attention is invited to GRI 2(a), HTSUSA, which reads as follows:

(a) Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. It shall also include a reference to that article complete or finished (or falling to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule), entered unassembled or disassembled.

It would appear from a reading of GRI 2(a) alone, that the merchandise, complete and unassembled at the time of importation, would be classified under the same heading as the complete and assembled article, i.e., Heading 9506, HTSUSA. However, pursuant to GRI 1 the relevant chapter note 1(g) to Chapter 95 is paramount in determining classification. Inasmuch as it requires the skate to be attached to the boot the application of GRI 2(a), HTSUSA, is precluded. Thus, the boot being unattached to the skate is separately classifiable as footwear in Chapter 64, HTSUSA, while the roller frame is classifiable under Heading 9506, HTSUSA.


The leather skating boot is separately classifiable under subheading 6403.19.45, HTSUSA, as footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of leather, sports footwear, other, for men, youths and boys, other, with duty at the rate of 8.5 percent ad valorem. If the boot is to be worn by other persons, it is classifiable under subheading 6403.19.60, HTSUSA, with duty at the rate of 10 percent ad valorem.

The roller frame component is classifiable under subheading 9506.70.2000, HTSUSA, and entitled to duty free entry.

The separately imported ice skate blade is classifiable under subheading 9506.70.6080, HTSUSA, as ice skates and roller skates, including skating boots with skates attached, parts and accessories thereof, other, including parts and accessories for ice skates with footwear permanently attached, parts and accessories. The applicable rate of duty is 2 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: