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HQ 956726

OCTOBER 25, 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 956726 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 4417.00.80, 9817.00.50

Ms. Cynthia A. Benway
Tower Group International, Inc.
24 Commerce Street
Pawtucket, RI 02862-2906

RE: Bamboo Rake, Wooden Rake, Lawn Rake, Heading 4417.00; Implement to be Used for Agricultural or Horticultural Purposes, Heading 9817.00.50; Chapter 98, U.S. Note 1; NY 845945, NY 882114, HQ 950223

Dear Ms. Benway:

Your letter to the District Director of Customs, Providence, dated July 11, 1994, has been referred to this office for reply. Your inquiry, on behalf of the Wayne Seed Corporation, concerns the tariff status of bamboo rakes from Taiwan.


The rakes in issue are hand tools designed for gathering leaves and grass. Each consists of a fan-shaped head and wooden handle. The head has projecting bamboo tynes or teeth bent at a 90 degree angle to form hooks. The fan head is fixed in place by a metal spring and a bamboo fixture. Each fan head and handle are joined by a nut and bolt and a U-shaped device. The bamboo fan is reinforced by a metal spacer.

The importer states these rakes are to be sold to independent garden centers and merchants for resale in their garden shops to homeowners for lawn and garden care. You have been tentatively advised by the local Customs officer that the rakes are classifiable in heading 4417.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as tools of wood. Further, you were advised that the provision for machinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes, in heading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, may be applicable. - 2 -

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

4417.00 Tools, tool bodies, tool handles, broom or brush bodies and handles, of wood; boot or shoe lasts and trees, of wood:

4417.00.80 Other...8 percent

9817.00.50 Machinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes...Free


Whether wooden rakes are agricultural or horticultural implements for tariff purposes.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

Bamboo rakes of the kind in in issue have been held to be classifiable as tools of wood, of heading 4417.00, HTSUS. NY 845945, dated October 20, 1989, NY 882114, dated February 24, 1993.

Heading 9817.00.50 provides for machinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes. The provisions of this heading are not governed by the rule of relative specificity in General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(a). Chapter 98, U.S. Note 1, HTSUS. If the bamboo rakes are described in heading 9817.00.50 they are classifiable therein, provided the conditions and requirements for the provision are met and there is compliance with any applicable regulations.

The raking of grass cuttings, leaves and other debris from lawns, flower beds and gardens is per se agricultural or horticultural for tariff purposes. However, because it is the importer who receives the benefits of duty-free entry, neither the garden centers or other distributors may relieve him of his obligations under relevant actual use regulations. In our opinion, however, considering the nature of these articles and their level of distribution, it would be appropriate for Customs officers to regard the importer as having sufficient knowledge of - 3 -
actual use as to meet the conditions for free entry prescribed in the regulations. HQ 950223, dated December 4, 1991.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the bamboo rakes in issue are provided for in heading 4417.00, HTSUS. They are classifiable in subheading 4417.00.80, HTSUS, as other tools of wood.

These rakes may be eligible for free entry under heading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, upon compliance with the actual use requirements of sections 10.131 through and including 10.139, Customs Regulations.

We are providing the District Director at Providence with a copy of this letter.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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