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NY 812969

August 1, 1995
CLA-2-95:S:N:N7:224 812969


TARIFF NO.: 9506.99.6080

Joseph F. Straus
BBC International Ltd.
19 West 34th Street
New York, N. Y. 10001

RE: The tariff classification of wrist, elbow, and knee guards from China.

Dear Mr. Straus:

In your letter dated July 26, 1995, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You are requesting information on the tariff treatment of wrist, elbow, and knee guards which are packaged together as style number 072695. This protective equipment is designed to be used while a person is engaged in the activity of in-line roller skating.

Heading 9506, (HTSUS) ,provides, in pertinent part, for articles and equipment for athletics, other sports or outdoor games. The Explanatory Notes to heading 9506 indicate that the heading covers protective equipment for sports or games, including breast plates, elbow pads, knee pads, cricket pads, and shin guards, all of which provide protection for bones closely underlying the skin and having little natural protection. Consequently, the sample wrist, elbow, and knee guards, which perform a similar protective function, are classified in subheading 9506.99.6080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for "Articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics, athletics, other sports (including table-tennis) or outdoor games...parts and accessories thereof (con.): Other: Other: Other". The rate of duty will be 4.5 percent ad valorem.

You assert that the protective pads are accessories to roller skates and are classifiable in subheading 9506.70, HTSUS. This subheading provides for "ice skates and roller skates, including skating boots with skates attached; parts and accessories thereof..."

Generally speaking, accessories are articles that are not needed to enable the goods, with which they are used, to fulfill their intended function. They must, however, somehow contribute to the convenience and 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). The subject protective guards do not function in this manner. The guards have little to do with the beauty, convenience or operational effectiveness of the roller skates themselves. Instead, the guards serve to protect the wearer from injuries in falls and collisions. This being the case, we need not explore the application of subheading 9506.70.20, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

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.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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