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HQ 955215

February 7, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955215 BC


TARIFF NO.: 6306.22.9030

Susan Sprung
182-23 150th Avenue
Springfield Gardens, New York 11413

RE: Classification of a nylon pop-up tent; backpacking tent

Dear Ms. Sprung:

This responds to your letter of September 30, 1993, wherein you requested a binding classification ruling on a pop-up tent, style # 321. You submitted a sample for our examination. We have reviewed the matter and our response follows.


The merchandise at issue, which you described as a backpacking tent, is a pop-up tent constructed of nylon fabric, style #321. The tent folds into a flat circular disk measuring approximately 33 inches in diameter. The folded tent is held in place by a textile strap. When the strap is released, the tent pops open and self erects. When opened, the tent measures 106 inches x 54 inches x 37 inches. The folded tent is placed inside a circular zippered cover of nylon that has a textile strap attached across one side. This strap is for carrying the tent. The tent weighs 8.5 lbs.


What is the proper classification for the nylon pop-up tent at issue?


Recently, in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 954667 (November 15, 1993), we classified a pop-up tent very similar to the one at issue here under subheading 6306.22.9030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We did so by reference to guidelines published in Treasury Decision (T.D.) 86- 163. These guidelines enable us to distinguish backpacking tents from other tents used for general recreation. In pertinent part (as they relate to backpacking tents), they are as follows:

(1) It [the tent] 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;

(3) if designed for 1 or 2 persons, the tent must meet the following criteria:

(a) have a floor area of 45 square feet or less,

(b) weigh 8.5 lbs. 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 9 inches or less in diameter.

20 Cust. Bull. 468, 473.

[Note that the guidelines published in T.D. 86-163 were issued for the purpose of making a determination under the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), the predecessor tariff to the HTSUSA. Under the TSUS, the determination to be made was whether the tent could be classified as sports equipment. In The Newman Importing Co., Inc. v. United States, 76 Cust Ct. 143, C.D. 4648 (1976), the U.S. Customs Court held that backpacking is a sport and tents specifically designed for backpacking could be considered sporting equipment. The guidelines were published in the T.D. to implement the rule of Newman Importing. Although the TSUS is no longer in effect, and the choice now under the HTSUSA is between "backpacking tents" and "other tents," these guidelines remain useful.]

On the facts here, questions are raised under criteria 1 and 3(c) above. You assert that the tent is intended for the sport of backpacking; however, the dimensions of the tent call into question that purpose. The disc measures 33" in diameter. Such a large disc-shaped tent cannot be carried conveniently on the backs of most persons. Moreover, its size far exceeds the 9 inches in diameter set under the guidelines.

In HRL 954667, the tent's diameter was 32 inches, less than the 33 inch diameter of the tent at issue. There, we concluded that since its size far exceeded the 9 inch diameter requirement of the guidelines, it could not be considered a backpacking tent for classification purposes.

Based on the foregoing, we conclude that the tent at issue does not meet the backpacking tent guidelines. It far exceeds the carrying size requirement which seriously calls into question its alleged intended use as a backpacking tent. It cannot be carried conveniently on the back or attached to a backpack during backpacking activities. It appears to be a one or two-man pop-up tent for general recreational purposes. The fact that the tent's dimensions meet the guideline requirements under criteria 3(a) and 3(b) is not controlling.


The nylon pop-up tent at issue is classifiable under subheading 6306.22.9030, HTSUSA, as a tent made of synthetic fibers, other, other. The applicable duty rate is 10% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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