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HQ 957215

March 28, 1995

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 957215 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8482.10.50

Mr. Steven Zisser, esq.
Stein, Shostak, Shostak & O'Hara
515 South Figueroa Street, Suite 1200
Los Angeles, CA 90071-3329

RE: Radial Ball Bearings for Roller Skates; Other Sports Articles, Parts of Roller Skates, Subheading 9506.70.20; Principal Use, HQ 956561; Section XVI, Note l(p); Chapter 95, Note 3; NY 896796 Affirmed

Dear Mr. Zisser:

In your letter of October 21, 1994, on behalf of The Hyper Corporation, you ask that we reconsider a ruling from the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, on radial ball bearings for use in roller skates.


In NY 896796, dated April 29, 1994, single row, double shielded radial ball bearings with outside diameters of 21 mm, were held to be classifiable in subheading 8482.10.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as ball bearings. The ruling noted that notwithstanding the bearings in issue were claimed to be designed for use in the production and after-market upgrading of in-line roller skates, heading 8482 covers all forms of ball and roller bearings regardless of use, dedication or modification. For reasons that follow, you maintain that the ball bearings are classifiable as parts of roller skates of heading 9506.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8482 Ball or roller bearings, and parts thereof:

8482.10 Ball bearings:

8482.10.50 Other...10.6 percent ad valorem

9506 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; swimming pools and wading pools; parts and accessories thereof:

9506.70 Ice skates and roller skates, including skating boots with skates attached; parts and accessories thereof:

9506.70.20 Roller skates and parts and accessories thereof...Free


Whether the ball bearings in issue are parts and accessories solely or principally used with roller skates of heading 9506.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI I 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.

The bearings under consideration are imported in precision grades designated ABEC-1, ABEC-3 or ABEC-5. You maintain that no consideration was given to Chapter 95, Note 3, HTSUS, which states, in part, that subject to note 1 to the chapter, parts and accessories which are solely or principally used with articles of this chapter are to be classified with those articles. You state that these bearings are specially manufactured and indelibly imprinted with the name BOSS SPEED BEARING SWISS, BOSS SPEED BEARINGS or RPM PERFORMANCE. Sales literature you have submitted depicts outdoor skating applications such as rollerblading and street hockey and notes that the bearings have exclusive features such as deep groove races for more lateral stability, removable shields for easy cleaning, high-speed bearing lubricant and super slick ball retainers that make these bearings "skate faster and last longer." In a submission, dated March 17, 1995, you contend that the manufacturer has advised your client that these bearings are imported in a pre-lubricated condition and that the lubricants are not designed for high speed use, as in electric motors. From this you conclude that these special lubricants adapt the bearings for roller skate use.

Section XVI, which includes articles of heading 8482, does not cover articles of chapter 95. Section XVI, Note l(p), HTSUS. Therefore, if the bearings in issue meet the sole or principal use test of Chapter 95, Note 3, they cannot be classified in heading 8482. It is worthy of note that Additional U.S. Note 1(c), HTSUS, states a provision for parts of an article covers products solely or principally used as a part of such articles but a provision for "parts" or "parts and accessories" shall not prevail over a specific provision for such part or accessory. Note 1© applies in the absence of special language or context that otherwise requires. In this case, Chapter 95, Note 3 constitutes special language or context that renders Note l© inoperative.

We do not dispute that these bearings are used in the rollerblade aftermarket. This, of course, is evidence of their actual use, not their sole or principal use. For tariff purposes, principal use is the use which exceeds any other single use of the good. See HQ 956561, dated August 31, 1994, and related cases. Your contention that the special lubricants in the subject bearings negate such high-speed applications as use with electric motors and, therefore, dedicates them to roller skate use, is not independently verified in the record. In fact, information before this office indicates otherwise. It is our understanding that the ball bearings in issue are commonly known in the industry as model 608.2Z bearings, and are routinely sold with removable shields. We are informed that while these bearings are used in exercise equipment, they are stock bearings which have a variety of other uses in vacuum cleaner motors, automotive wiper motors, submersible water pumps, and certain electric motors, among others. The evidence of record does not establish sole or principal use with articles of Chapter 95, HTSUS.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the single row, double shielded radial ball bearings in issue are provided for in heading 8482. They are classifiable in subheading 8482.10.50, HTSUS.


NY 896796, dated April 29, 1994, is affirmed.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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