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HQ 956660

May 1, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 956660 ch


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.4500

Ron L. Queipo
National Logistics Manager
Spalding Sports Worldwide
425 Meadow Street
P.O. Box 901
Chicopee, Massachusetts 01021-0901

RE: Tariff classification for baseball/softball bat bags; travel, sports and similar bags.

Dear Mr. Queipo:

This is in response to your letter, dated May 26, 1994, requesting tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) for certain baseball and softball bat bags.


Specification sheets for three items described as players bags have been submitted. They are identified as styles 44-1001 (11 1/2 inches in width, 37 inches in length, 10 1/2 inches in height), 44-3005 (7 inches in width, 36 inches in length, 12 inches in height) and 44-4505 (dimensions unstated). You advise that the bags have been designed primarily for carrying baseball bats, with a secondary purpose of carrying spikes, uniforms and softballs. The bags feature carrying straps, have been fitted to hold baseball bats, and possess other pockets of various dimensions. You indicate that these articles have an outer surface of PVC plastic.


Whether the baseball bat bags are classifiable in heading 4202, HTSUS, which provides in part for travel, sports or similar bags; or heading 9506, HTSUS, which provides in part for articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics, athletics, other sports (including table-tennis) or outdoor games, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter?


Heading 4202, HTSUS, provides in part for travel, sports or similar bags, with outer surface of plastic sheeting. Chapter 42, Additional U.S. Note 1, states:

For the purposes of heading 4202, the expression "travel, sports and similar bags" means goods, other than those falling in subheading 4202.11 through 4202.39, of a kind designed for carrying clothing and other personal effects during travel, including backpacks and shopping bags of this heading, but does not include binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, bottle cases and similar containers. (Emphasis added).

The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUS, while not legally binding, represent the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the Explanatory Notes when interpreting the HTSUS. The Explanatory Note to heading 4202, at page 613, states in pertinent part that:

The expression "sports bags" includes articles such as golf bags, gym bags, tennis racket carrying bags, ski bags and fishing bags.

Thus, sports bags of heading 4202 are designed for carrying clothing and other personal effects during travel. Moreover, sports bags include containers designed for carrying equipment associated with a given recreational activity (e.g. golf clubs, tennis rackets, skis, fishing poles and lures). The instant baseball bat bags have been designed for carrying equipment and clothing associated with baseball. Hence, they are specifically described by the term "sports bags." For this reason, the subject merchandise is classifiable in heading 4202, HTSUS.

Heading 9506 falls within Chapter 95, HTSUS. Chapter 95, Note 1(d), provides that the chapter does not cover sports bags of heading 4202. Consequently, heading 9506 does not describe the goods.


The subject merchandise is classifiable under subheading 4202.92.4500, HTSUS, which provides for travel, sports and similar bags, with outer surface of sheeting of plastic. The applicable rate of duty 20 percent is ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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