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HQ 950006

October 8, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950006 SK


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.3030

Ms. Genevieve Rafter
J.M. Customs Brokers
147-24 176th Street
Jamaica, N.Y. 11434

RE: Classification of a nylon waist pack with a detachable ski tote; ski and pole carrying device; ski straps; sport bag; 4202, HTSUSA; essential character imparted by the waist bag

Dear Ms. Rafter:

This is in response to your letter dated July 3, 1991, on behalf of Newmark Enterprises, Inc., requesting classification of a nylon ski tote and waist pack under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted to Customs for examination and will be returned to the National Import Specialist.


The submitted sample is a strap and buckle ski carrier with a detachable waist pack. The waist pack is unlined, measures approximately 12" x 4" x 2 1/2", and has two zippered pockets on the front. Several nylon weave straps with plastic side release buckles may be joined together to form a ski tote. Two of the shorter straps may be omitted and the remaining adjustable strap and waist pack fit around the waist. The item at issue is designed for use as a ski tote and as a travel/storage pocket for personal items while skiing or participating in sports. The sample will be imported from Taiwan.


Is a ski tote with a detachable waist pack properly classifiable under heading 4202 of the HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied in the order of their appearance.

In this case, the articles that make up the "SkiStrap" fall under two separate tariff provisions in the Nomenclature. The waist pack is classifiable under heading 4202, HTSUSA, which provides for travel, sports and similar bags. The textile weave ski straps are classifiable under heading 6307, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up articles.

No heading, by itself, covers the subject merchandise and therefore classification cannot be determined by applying GRI 1 alone. GRI 3 provides the relevant analysis as follows:

When by application of Rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be affected as follows:

3(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only ... of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

Since the "SkiStrap" at issue consists of two components which are separately provided for in the Nomenclature, GRI 3(b) applies.

3(b) ... goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.

In this case, the merchandise qualifies as a set within the meaning of GRI 3. The article contains components that are intended to be used together while skiing or engaged in sporting activities and the merchandise is packaged together in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) states that:

The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

The essential character of the subject merchandise is imparted by the waist pack. The role of the waist pack in relation to the use of this article is such that it constitutes the primary motivation for most buyers to purchase this item. The waist pack's uses are vast: it may be used as a sport pack, a tote, a tourist bag and by hikers and joggers. It has no seasonal limitations, as does the ski tote. Recently, a sporting goods catalogue promoted a similar product as a waist pack that ferries skis and poles too. The description of this article indicates that it is the waist pack that is primarily being marketed. The fact that it also converts into a ski tote is an additional reason to purchase this particular model.

The waist pack's potential uses are diverse and appeal to a wide range of potential buyers so as to render the waist pack as the component that imparts this article's essential character. Purchasers' use of the ski straps is optional and the ski straps role in relation to the use of this article is secondary to that of the waist pack.


The submitted sample is classifiable under subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUSA, which provides for travel, sports and similar bags: with outer surface of textile materials: other ..., other: of man-made fibers, dutiable at a rate of 20 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 670.

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 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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