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HQ 089891

SEPTEMBER 15, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 089891 EAB


TARIFF NO.: 9506.91.0030

Alan R. Klestadt, Esquire
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th Street
New York, New York 10017

RE: Classification of electronic monitors used on exercise equipment and machines; speedometers; treadmills; parts; accessories; 9029; 9506; Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c); Oxford International; Vilem B. Haan; J.C. Penney; 081571; 085198; 087550; 953141

Dear Mr. Klestadt:

This is in reply to your letter dated June 7, 1991, in which you request a binding ruling on the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of electronic monitors used on stationary exercise equipment, i.e., treadmills. The manufacturer's specification sheets and operation instructions together with samples have been provided for our examination.


The merchandise will be made in either Taiwan or Hong Kong and consists of three units referred to in the manufacturer's specification sheets and operation instructions as treadmill electronic monitoring devices. The model numbers are ECS-12, ECT-50 and ECT-61. All three have the following monitor and display functions: speed, time, distance, caloric expenditure and a scan mode. Models ECT-50 and ECT-61 have a pulse monitoring and display function that operates through the use of an ear clip that is hard-wired to the monitor.

Although you collectively refer to the merchandise as "speedometers", you inform us that "styles ECT-50 and ECT-12 are used solely in connection with Weslo's electronic treadmills and are not designed for use on bicycles." Also, "[M]odel ECT-61 is designed to be incorporated into a larger electronic treadmill console after importation." In summary, you state: "The merchandise * * * consists of three different speedometers which are designed for use exclusively with the importer's exercise machines. Depending on the unit, the speedometer may be matched with an electronic treadmill, exercycle, rowing machine or similar stationary exercise apparatus." For purposes of this ruling, therefore, we consider the goods to be either principally used with stationary exercise equipment or used solely with the manufacturer's treadmills.


Whether electronic monitors used with stationary exercise equipment are classified under heading 9029, as speedometers and tachometers, or under heading 9506, as parts and accessories of exercise equipment.


Merchandise imported into the U.S. is classified under the HTSUSA. The tariff classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the principles set forth in the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) and, in the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires, by the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation.

You are of the opinion that the treadmill electronic monitors are classifiable under subheading 9029.20.4080, HTSUSA, a provision for speedometers other than those of heading 9015, speedometers, other speedometers, other, to be entered free of duty. It is your position that the foregoing is an eo nomine provision; that Explanatory Note 90.29(B) "contemplates" that multifunction speed indicators are classifiable under heading 9029; and, that, by virtue of said Explanatory Note, the treadmill electronic monitors should "be classified under the eo nomine [provision] for speedometers and tachometers in [S]ubheading 9029.20.4080, HTSUS."

We disagree.

The treadmill electronic monitors are not simply multiple function speedometers fitting the description of the goods of heading 9029.

[W]here general words follow terms designating specific or particular things, persons, or subjects, the general words are to be construed as including only those things, persons or subjects which are of the same kind, class or species as those specifically enumerated. Oxford International Corporation v. U.S., 75 Cust.Ct. 58, 68, C.D. 4608 (1975)

Heading 9029 is susceptible to the doctrine of ejusdem generis for "revolution counters, production counters, taximeters, odometers, pedometers and the like," emphasis supplied, but not for "speedometers and tachometers, other than those of heading 9015; stroboscopes; parts and accessories thereof [,]" a scheme continued in the corresponding subheadings:

9029.10 revolution counters, production counters, taximeters, odometers, pedometers and the like: [emphasis supplied]

9029.20 speedometers and tachometers; stroboscopes:

The Explanatory Notes to heading 9029 do not suggest otherwise. We note, as you have, that the heading is intended to include articles that include a combination of features related to the tachometer or speedometer function. Specifically, the heading includes "Apparatus indicating a speed of revolution or a linear speed in relation to a time factor * * *, [See Explanatory Note 90.29(B) at 1521] [and] which simultaneously record speed, mileage, time in motion and at a standstill, etc. [id. at 1523]." Speed is not merely "related" to time, it is mathematically defined as a function of both time and distance. We believe that "in relation to" means proximately related, not attenuated, and that pulse and calories are not proximately related to speedometric functions. One can burn more calories in a lesser period of time through greater exertion, e.g., by running instead of walking over the same distance; alternatively, one can burn more calories in a greater period of time at the same work level, e.g., by walking a greater distance at a constant speed. Similarly, pulse is more related to work than to time, time being merely an accepted convenient reference. One has a higher pulse after running for 20 minutes than after walking for 20 minutes. We do not believe that pulse rate and calories burned during the period of exercise are the types of related functions intended to be covered. With respect to tachometers and speedometers, "in relation to" is not language that merits application of the doctrine of ejusdem generis. We find the treadmill electronic monitors not to be "speedometers" of heading 9029.

To arrive at the correct classification, we turn first to the legal notes of the Schedule, since GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. As we are concerned with Chapters 90 and 95 here, we look first at the sections for section notes. In doing so, it is apparent that neither chapter is in a section having legal notes. Therefore, we move to chapter notes.

Chapter 95, Note 3, states: "Subject to note 1 above [re merchandise excluded from classification under any of the headings of the chapter], parts and accessories which are suitable for use solely or principally with articles of this chapter are to be classified with those articles."

Heading 9506, HTSUSA, describes "Articles and equipment for gymnastics, athletics, other sports (including table-tennis) or outdoor games, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; swimming pools and wading pools; parts and accessories thereof."

We believe that the explicit wording of the note 3 to chapter 95 covering heading 9506, HTSUSA, establishes clearly that parts and accessories suitable for use solely or principally with articles of chapter 95 must be classified with those articles.

The foregoing principle finds recent favor in the conclusive language of HR 953141 (February 8, 1993), concerning a wiring harness assembly found to be a part of a wheeled toy. Therein, Customs stated:

* * * Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation 1(c), HTSUS, does not have any effect upon the classification of the subject assembly, because chapter 95, note 3, HTSUS, requires that a parts provision shall prevail over a specific provision for such part.

This brings us to the question of the use of the goods. If they are used as parts and accessories of gymnasium or other exercise articles or equipment, then the treadmill electronic monitors are classifiable under subheading 9506.91 and dutiable at the general rate of 4.64 percent ad valorem.

We next address the authority that you cite for your position. In HR 087550 (February 28, 1991), Customs classified several heart rate monitors and pulsemeters of one manufacturer that were mounted on exercise bicycles. In determining that subheading 9029.20, HTSUSA, was applicable, Customs inexplicably did not take into consideration Note 3 to Chapter 95. Had we done so, we would have reached a different result. That decision does not reflect the current view of the Customs Service.

You further rely upon HR 081571 (July 20, 1988), wherein Customs classified a cyclocomputer under item 711.93, TSUS and offered an advisory non-binding opinion of classification under subheading 9029.20, HTSUSA, in anticipation of the adoption of the HTSUS. Since the goods in that case were used on bicycles, not stationary exercise cycles, we find that case to be of no help in this classification issue.

You also rely upon HR 085198 (November 17, 1989) for the proposition that Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c) read in conjunction with Note 3, Chapter 95, HTSUSA, requires classification of the subject goods under residual tariff item 9029.20.4080, HTSUSA. We find nothing in that decision to support your conclusion. Classification therein was not based upon Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c) due to the fact that there was no "specific provision" for photographic flashlight reflectors. In this case, similarly, there is no specific provision for treadmill electronic monitors. The goods, "principally used for the purposes for which designed, i.e., as accessories for photographic flashlight apparatus," were classified as other accessories for flashlight apparatus under subheading 9006.99, HTSUSA, obviously an application of Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a). In any event, HR 953141, supra, correctly states that chapter notes control over the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation, and chapter notes squarely redound to the classification of treadmill electronic monitors.

We are compelled to note here our fundamental disagreement with your analysis of Additional U.S. Rule 1(c). It is claimed that when the application of Rule 3 to Chapter 95 is in issue, "Note 3 simply alters the use provision or Rule 1(c)." This strained interpretation of Additional U.S. Rule 1(c) has no apparent rationale in law except to defeat a clearly set out statutory scheme. It is manifestly evident that Rule 3 provides "special language or context which otherwise requires" the directions of Rule 3 to be followed. Those directions are to classify the part with the article of Chapter 95 to which it belongs. Once that context or special language has been established, counsel would have us re-examine Rule 1(c) to see if new life may be breathed into it. This approach is backwards because at the GRI 1 level, the provisions of the Additional U.S. Rules would not be resorted to when there are clear instructions in the relevant Chapter Note.

In summary, treadmill electronic monitors are to be classified in accordance with their principal use as parts of gymnasium or other exercise articles and equipment (subheading 9506.91, HTSUSA). The manufacturer identifies and sells the merchandise as treadmill electronic monitors, and such conduct is indicative of "use", Vilem B. Haan v. U.S., 67 Cust.Ct. 104, C.D. 4260 (1971) and J.C. Penney v. U.S., 10 CIT 727 (1986).

Treadmill electronic monitors principally used as parts of treadmills are classifiable under subheading 9506.91.0030, HTSUSA.


Treadmill electronic monitors principally used as parts of treadmills are properly classifiable under subheading 9506.91.0030, HTSUSA, a provision for articles and equipment for athletics, parts and accessories thereof; other gymnasium or other exercise articles and equipment; parts and accessories thereof; other. Merchandise classifiable under the foregoing provision is dutiable at the general rate of 4.64 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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