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HQ 951877

October 16, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 951877 ALS


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.9090

Mr. Brent Reider
International Trade Group, Inc.
Postal Drawer 21877
Columbus, Ohio 43221

RE: Request for Reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 873140, dated April 21, 1992, Concerning the Classification of an Electronic Gun Locker Manufactured in China

Dear Mr. Reider:

This is in reference to your request for reconsideration of NYRL 873140 regarding an electronic gun locker.


The article under consideration is an electronic gun locker which is made of molded high density polypropylene plastic. It incorporates a mechanical locking device which is released and locked electronically. The lid will not open unless the proper access code is entered on the electronic keypad, and, within 2 seconds of entry of the code, the access hook is released. The gun locker is designed to be mounted against a flat surface by means of four utility screws which are provided. Inside the case is a muzzle mount for the gun's barrel and a pinch retention device for the trigger guard. The items are stated to hold a gun in a holster-like position so that the gun can be quickly and easily accessed. The locker is operated by four 1.5 volt batteries as a main power supply and one 12 volt battery for memory back-up.


What is the proper classification of an electronic gun locker manufactured in China?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied, taken in order.

In NYRL 873140 the electronic gun locker was classified in subheading 3926.90.9090, HTSUSA, the provision for other articles of plastic. The importer states that the article should be classified in subheading 9305.10.8000, HTSUSA, the provision for other parts and accessories of revolvers or pistols. The importer notes that it received an advisory classification from Customs in Cleveland, Ohio, indicating that the latter classification was proper.

In order for the article to be classifiable as suggested by the importer it would have to be a part or an accessory of revolvers or pistols. Since the locker is obviously not a part of a revolver or pistol, we considered whether it was an accessory to those items. In making such determination we noted that the HTSUSA does not contain a specific definition for such term.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087704, dated September 27, 1990, we noted the absence of such a definition. In considering the matter in that ruling we reached the following conclusion as to the meaning of the term "accessory" which we believe may be properly used as guidance in this instant situation:

An accessory is generally an article which is not necessary to enable the goods with which it is used to fulfill their intended function. An accessory must be identifiable as being intended solely or principally for use with a specific article. Accessories are of secondary or subordinate importance, not essential in and of themselves. They must, however, somehow contribute to the effectiveness of the principal article (e.g., facilitate the use or handling of the principal article, widen the range of its uses, or improve its operations.)

Based on the above standard we do not believe that the electronic gun locker enhances the effectiveness of the gun stored therein, facilitates its use or handling or widens the range of its uses, or improves its operations. The locker is essentially a security storage device for a gun when it is not being carried by an individual. While it has certain features that provide for the unattended security of a gun, limited access thereto and the quick removal therefrom so it can be used, it does not, as noted above, enhance the effectiveness of the gun, etc. Accordingly, we do not believe that the electronic gun locker is an accessory to a revolver or pistol.

Since there is not a specific tariff provision covering such articles, we have concluded that the gun locker should be classified under the provision covering its primary component material, i.e., plastic.

In evaluating the claim of receipt of oral advice from a Cleveland, Ohio Customs official, we specifically noted section 177.3(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.3(b)), which specifically states that "[o]ral opinions or advice of Customs Service personnel are not binding on the Customs Service."


An electronic gun locker made of plastic which is designed to permit the secure storage of and quick access to revolvers and pistols is classifiable as an article of plastic in subheading 3926.90.9090, HTSUSA, and is subject to a general rate of duty of 5.3 percent ad valorem.

NYRL 873140 is hereby affirmed.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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