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HQ 953713

August 11, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953713 LTO


TARIFF NO.: 8714.99.90

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
9901 Pacific Highway
Blaine, Washington 98230

RE: Protest No. 3004-92-100125; brake lever extensions; parts vs. accessories; 8714.94.15; 9902.87.14; HQ 087704; HQ 088579

Dear District Director:

The following is our decision regarding the request for further review of Protest No. 3004-92-100125, which concerns the classification of brake lever extensions under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The subject merchandise was entered on April 10, 1992, and the entry was liquidated on August 28, 1992. The protest was timely filed on August 31, 1992.


The articles in question are brake lever extensions for bicycles. The protestant contends that the extensions are parts of bicycle brakes, and that they are essential safety features for mountain bicycles which are equipped with handlebar extensions. Handlebar extensions are attached to the end of handlebars to place the rider's hands in a better position for climbing. Without the extensions, the rider cannot reach the brake lever while holding onto the handlebar extensions. The hand must be moved to the main handlebar for the main brake lever to be used.

The brake lever extensions were entered under subheading 8714.94.15, HTSUS, which provides for bicycle caliper and cantilever brakes. The entries were liquidated under subheading 8714.99.90, HTSUS, which provides for other bicycle accessories.

The subheadings at issue are as follows:

8714 Parts and accessories of vehicles of headings 8711 to 8713:
Brakes, including coaster braking hubs and hub brakes, and parts thereof:
8714.94.15 Caliper and cantilever bicycle

8714.94.60 Other (including parts) (10% 1/)

8714.99.90 Other (10%)

1/9902.87.14 Caliper and cantilever brakes, drum brakes, front and rear derailleurs, shift levers, cables and casings for derailleurs, coaster brakes, two-speed hubs with internal gear- changing mechanisms, three-speed hubs, whether or not incorporating coaster brakes, click twist grips, trigger and twist grip controls for three-speed hubs, free wheel sprockets, cotterless type crank sets, frame lugs, and parts of all the foregoing (provided for in subheading
3917.32.00 or heading 7312 or 8714) (Free)


Whether the brake lever extensions are parts or accessories of the bicycles of heading 8712, HTSUS.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUS govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states in pertinent part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes . . . ."

Heading 8714, HTSUS, provides for parts and accessories of vehicles of heading 8711 to 8713, HTSUS. Bicycles are vehicles of heading 8712, HTSUS. The brake lever extensions are covered by heading 8714, HTSUS, as they are suitable for use solely or principally with the articles of heading 8712, HTSUS. Further, they are not more specifically included elsewhere in the tariff - 3 -
schedule, nor are they excluded by the terms of note 2 to section XVII. See Note 3 to section XVII; General EN to section XVII, pg. 1410. However, a question remains as to whether the extensions are classifiable as bicycle parts or bicycle accessories.

In HQ 087704, dated September 27, 1990, this office, with regard to the classification of "accessories" under the HTSUS, stated as follows:

[T]he term 'accessory' is not defined in either the tariff schedule or the Explanatory Notes. 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 operation.

In HQ 088579, dated May 23, 1991, this office stated that "a part is generally an article which is an integral, constituent or compound part, without which the article to which it is joined could not function." Originally, for an item to be classified as a 'part' of an article, that item must have been "something necessary to the completion of that article . . .[and] an integral, constituent, or component part, without which the article to which it is to be joined, could not function as such article." United States v. Willoughby Camera Stores, Inc., 21 CCPA 322, 324, T.D. 46, 51 (1933) (emphasis in original), cert. denied, 292 U.S. 640 (1934); United States v. Antonio Pompeo, 43 CCPA 9,11, C.A.D. 602 (1955). This rule has been somewhat modified so that a device may be considered a 'part' of an article even though the device is not necessary to the operation of the article, provided that once the device is installed the article cannot function properly without it. Clipper Belt Lacer Co., Inc. v. United States, 14 C.I.T. 146, 738 F.Supp. 528 (1990), aff'd 923 F.2d 835 (1991).

While the articles in question contribute to the effectiveness of a bicycle, they are not an integral component of a bicycle, nor are they necessary for the safe operation of a bicycle. The extensions enable the rider to apply the brakes while using the handlebar extensions, without relocating his or her hands. However, the extensions are not replacement brake levers. Rather, they are an optional piece of equipment installed for the convenience of the rider and used in - 4 -
conjunction with another optional piece of equipment, the handlebar extensions. As such, the brake lever extensions are classifiable as bicycle accessories, rather than as bicycle parts. Because they are bicycle accessories classifiable under subheading 8714.99.90, HTSUS, subheading 9902.87.14, HTSUS, is inapplicable.


The brake lever extensions are classifiable as bicycle accessories under subheading 8714.99.90, HTSUS.

Accordingly, the protest should be denied. A copy of this ruling should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director

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