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HQ 951263

June 15, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 951263 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6306.22.1000

Martin Zemitis
Sierra Designs
2039 Fourth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710-1912

RE: Tent; Pre-Classification Ruling 864811 revoked.

Dear Mr. Zemitis:

This letter is in reference to Pre-Entry Classification Ruling (PC) 864811 of July 8, 1991, sent to you from our San Francisco office.


The merchandise in question is a tent referred to by the importer as a "Mondo Condo 395A" tent. The Mondo Condo 395A is a four person tent that is designed and marketed for backpacking. The importer submitted a catalog to substantiate her claim that the subject merchandise is constructed for backpacking. The Mondo Condo 395A has a floor area of 64.5 square feet, a standing height of 63.5 inches, weight of 7.4 pounds, and a carrying size of 28 inches in length and 8 inches in diameter. The tent comes with a vestibule weighing 2.8 pounds with a floor area of 18 square feet. The vestibule is used for storage, and is not considered a part of the living area of the tent.

The San Francisco District issued PC 864811, classifying the Mondo Condo 395A under subheading 6306.22.9030, HTSUSA.


Whether the merchandise in question is classifiable as a backpacking tent in subheading 6306.22.1000, HTSUSA, or as other tents in subheading 6306.22.9030, HTSUSA?


Heading 6306, HTSUSA, specifically provides for tarpaulins, awnings and sunblinds; tents; sails for boats, sailboards or landcraft; and camping goods.

Subheading 6306.22.1000, HTSUSA, provides for backpacking tents of synthetic fibers. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) - 086076, dated February 15, 1990, we stated "that backpacking tents have not been defined at the international level. The distinction between backpacking tents and other tents is an issue only at the United States legal level. Therefore, determinations under the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), while not binding, are persuasive in this matter."

The decision in Newman Importing Company, Inc. v. United States, 76 Cust. Ct. 143, C.D. 4648 (1976), in which the Court held that backpacking was a sport, led to the Custom Services's - issuance of guidelines for distinguishing backpacking tents from - other tents. See, C.S.D. 79-108 (August 21, 1978). These guidelines were revised in T.D. 86-163. In order to qualify as - sports equipment (backpacking tents were classified as such under the TSUS), the following criteria had to be met:

1. It must be specially designed for the sport of backpacking

2. It must be composed of nylon, polyester or any other fabric of man-made fibers.

4. If designed for 3 or 4 persons, the tent must meet the following criteria:

(a) have a floor area of 65 square feet or less, and

(b) weigh 12 pounds or less, including tent bag and all accessories necessary to pitch the tent, and

(c) have a carry size of 30 inches or less in length and 10 inches or less in diameter. If other than cylindrical in shape the tent package must not exceed 2,350 cubic inches.

Any tent with a floor of more than 65 square feet and standing height of more than 60 inches is a tent designed for general recreational use.

In this instance, the importer has submitted a company catalog that advertises the Mondo Condo 395A as a tent that is constructed and marketed specifically for backpacking. The Mondo Condo 395A is comprised of fabric made from man-made fibers. The merchandise in question meets most of the measurement requirements stipulated in T.D. 86-163. However, the Mondo Condo 395A exceeds the height limitation set by T.D. 86-163 by 3.5 inches.

In HRL 086091, dated January 11, 1990, the tent in question had a carrying size of 35 inches which exceeded the guidelines by 5 inches. Customs looked at the merchandise in its totality and determined that in spite of the merchandise failing to meet all the criteria set forth in T.D. 86-163, the tent was designed as a backpacking tent, and therefore, classifiable as such.

This same issue of a tent's measurements exceeding T.D. 86- 163 guidelines was revisited again in HRL 086076, and Customs ruled that when taking into consideration all factors, the styles did not vary significantly enough from the criteria set forth in T.D. 86-163 to be denied classification as backpacking tents.

In light of the rationale used in other Customs' decisions, and the overall construction of the merchandise in question, the Mondo Condo 395A is classifiable as a backpacking tent.


Based on the foregoing, effective this date, the Mondo Condo 395A is classifiable under subheading 6306.22.1000, HTSUSA, which provides for backpacking tents of synthetic fibers. The rate of duty is 4.64 percent ad valorem.

In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we are notifying you that PC 864811 is no longer effective with respect to the Mondo Condo 395A. However, if you disagree with the legal basis for our decision, we invite you to submit any arguments you might have with respect to this matter for our review. Any submission you wish to make should be received within 30 days of the date of this letter.

This notice to you should therefore be considered a revocation of PC 864811 of July 8, 1991, under 19 C.F.R. sect. 177.9(d)(1) (1989), for the Mondo Condo 395A. It is not to be applied retroactively to PC 864811 (19 C.F.R. sect. 177.(d)(2) (1989)) and will not, therefore, affect the transaction, as we described above, for the importation of your merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, including that which the present classification is requested, PC 864811 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this termination of effectiveness, in that current contracts for importations arriving at a port subsequent to the release of HRL 951263 will be classified under the new ruling. If such a situation arises, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of the new ruling as may be dictated by the circumstances. However, please be advised that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.

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 issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available 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 importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs office handling the transaction.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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