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HQ 953747

June 10, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953747 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.3030

Mr. T.E.G. Yourieff
Neil Pryde Sails, Inc.
P.O. Box 50
Milford, CT. 06460

RE: Sailboard mast carrying bag; heading 4202; Additional U.S. Note 1 to Chapter 42; travel, sports and similar bags; Legal Note 1(d) to Chapter 95; Explanatory Notes to heading 4202; HRL 086896; GRI 5(a)

Dear Mr. Yourieff:

This is in response to your letter dated March 31, 1993, on behalf of Neil Pryde Sails, Inc., concerning the classification of a mast bag under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). You submitted a sample bag for our examination.


The article at issue is a bag designed to contain the mast of a sailboard which is used in the sport of sailboarding or windsurfing. It measures approximately seven feet in length and seven inches in width. The bag's outer surface is made of a nylon material and the sides are padded with a polyethylene foam material. It is closed by means of a drawstring at one end and the full length of the bag is divided into two sections for both halves of the mast. A woven man-made textile strap with plastic buckles is sewn at each end of the bag.

The bag is made in China and is not imported with a mast. According to your letter, the masts for the sailboards are made in the U.S., and they are currently exported in cardboard tubes. However, as the masts have weak resistance to impact loads, you would like to pack them in the subject bags and then ship them to consumers worldwide.


What is the tariff classification of the mast carrying bags?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's, taken in order.

Heading 4202, HTSUS, provides for the following:

Trunks..., traveling bags, toiletry bags, knapsacks and back packs, handbags, shopping bags..., sports bags, bottle cases... and similar containers, of textile materials....

Heading 9506, HTSUS, provides for, inter alia, articles and equipment for athletics, other sports or outdoor games. The Legal Notes and the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) to Chapters 42 and 95, HTSUS, describe criteria for the inclusion of goods in heading 4202, HTSUS. Legal Note 1(d) to Chapter 95, HTSUS, provides that "[t]his Chapter does not cover: (d) sports bags or other containers of heading 4202...." Therefore, if this bag is considered to be a sports bag or "other container" of heading 4202, HTSUS, it is not classifiable in Chapter 95, HTSUS.

Additional U.S. Note 1 to Chapter 42, HTSUS, provides that:

For the purposes of heading 4202, the expression "travel, sports and similar bags" means goods ... of a kind designed for carrying clothing and other personal effects during travel, including backpacks and shopping bags of this heading....

The ENs to heading 4202, HTSUS, provide, on page 613, that "[t]he expression 'sports bags' includes articles such as golfbags, gym bags, tennis racket carrying bags, ski bags and fishing bags." The ski bag and the golf bag, for example, are not designed to carry clothing. They are containers that are designed to transport and protect golf clubs and skis, respectively. They have straps or handles that facilitate this function. Like the above two bags, the sailboard mast carrying bag serves to protect and store a mast. It is clearly designed to facilitate the transportation of the mast as it is equipped with straps or handles. Therefore, the subject bag performs functions similar to travel, sports and similar bags which are provided for in heading 4202, HTSUS. Specifically, it is classified in subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUS. See, Headquarters

Ruling Letter 086896, dated June 26, 1990, wherein we classified a bag that was designed to transport and protect a surfboard as a travel, sports and similar bag in subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUS.

In classifying this bag, we also considered GRI 5(a), which provide the following:

(a) Camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, drawing instrument cases, necklace cases and similar containers, specially shaped or fitted to contain a specific article or set of articles, suitable for long-term use and entered with the articles for which they are intended, shall be classified with such articles when of kind normally sold therewith. This rule does not, however, apply to containers which give the whole its essential character;

In the instant case, the padded bags are not imported with the articles for which they are intended, the masts. The padded bags are imported empty and once the bags are in the U.S., they will be fitted with the masts and exported to consumers worldwide. As we classify merchandise based on its condition on importation, GRI 5 is, therefore, not applicable in this situation.


The sailboard mast carrying bag is classified in subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUS, which provides for "[t]runks, suitcases...traveling bags, toiletry bags, knapsacks and backpacks, shopping bags,...sports bags...and similar containers: [o]ther: [w]ith outer surface of plastic sheeting or of textile materials: [t]ravel, sports and similar bags: [w]ith outer surface of textile materials: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]f man-made fibers: [o]ther." The rate of duty is 20% ad valorem and the applicable textile category code is 670.

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 the importer 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 updated weekly and 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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