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HQ 955590

January 31, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955590 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9986

Ms. Sherry Baker, Supervisor
Entry Department
Wholesale Supply Company, Inc.
P.O. Box 24600
Nashville, TN 37202

RE: Swim sweater is an other made up article of textiles.

Dear Ms. Baker:

This is in reply to your letter of December 3, 1993. That letter concerned the tariff classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of swim sweater, produced in Taiwan.


The merchandise at issue consists of Item 1088NCY, a swim sweater. The merchandise will be purchased from Ero, Taiwan, and may be imported through the ports of Savannah, GA, New York, N.Y., Nashville, TN, Dallas, TX, Seattle, WA, and Los Angeles, CA.

The article is a child's swim aid composed of a rubber inner tube enclosed in a stretch nylon cover which is firmly attached to a short nylon garment. The portion above the tube is in the shape of a tank top garment, and below the tube is a rectangular piece of fabric shaped to fit around the crotch. The article is designed as a training aid for children learning how to swim. It is used by the child in the presence of an adult.


Whether the Swim Sweaters are considered either garments or other articles of either rubber or textiles under the HTSUSA?


Heading 9506, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, water sport equipment and accessories thereof. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System) constitute the official interpretation of the scope and content of the tariff at the international level. They represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. Totes, Inc. v. United States, No. 91-09-00714, slip op. 92-153, 14 Int'l Trade Rep. (BNA) 1916, 1992 Ct. Int'l. Trade LEXIS 158 (Ct. Int'l Trade 1992). While not treated as dispositive, the EN are to be given considerable weight in Customs' interpretation of the HTSUSA. Boast, Inc. v. United States, No. 91-11-00793, slip op. 93-20, 1993 Ct. Int'l. Trade LEXIS 19 (Ct. Int'l Trade 1993). It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the Explanatory Notes when interpreting the HTSUSA. The EN to this heading, at 1592, states:

This heading covers:

(B) Requisites for other sports and outdoor games ..., e.g.:

(2) Water-skis, surf-boards, sailboards and other water-sports equipment, such as diving stages (platforms), chutes, divers' flippers and respiratory masks of a kind used without oxygen or compressed air bottles, and simple underwater breathing tubes (generally known as
"snorkels") for swimmers or divers.

It is clear that swimming, whether recreational or competitive, is a sport insofar as it provides healthy exercise, recreation, etc. See The Newman Co., Inc. v. United States, 76 Cust. Ct. 143, C.D. 4648 (1976). The swim sweater, however, is not requisite to the sport of swimming the way that water-skis are requisite to the sport of water-skiing. It is merely used to help train children to swim, and is not the type of article intended to be classified within heading 9506, HTSUSA.

In HRL 952204 of April 12, 1993, we classified nearly identical merchandise under subheading 6307.90, HTSUSA. See also HRLs 953775 and 953776 of that date. Accordingly, the swim sweater is classified as an other made up article of textiles.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUSA, as other made up textile articles. The applicable rate of duty is 7 percent ad valorem.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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