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HQ 953137

April 7, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953137 LTO


TARIFF NO.: 8708.29.00

Mr. Arthur Stein
ETA Import and Export Ltd.
248-06 Rockaway Blvd., Suite 286
Jamaica, New York 11422

RE: Golf Cart Cover (with cord and carrying case); heading 3926; heading 4202; heading 5609; GRI 3; EN 39.26; EN 87.08; HQ 953274

Dear Mr. Stein:

This is in response to your letter of November 4, 1992, to Customs in New York, requesting the classification of a golf cart cover with cord and carrying case under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter was referred to this office for a response.


The imported merchandise is a plastic golf cart cover. The cover serves as a rain shield for a motorized golf cart, while the cart is in use. The cover is draped over the golf cart and is fastened to the cart with bungie cords that fit through grommets and are hooked to the bottom of the chassis of the golf cart. The sides of the cover are clear. The plastic cover and bungie cords are packaged in a textile carrying case and are sold as one unit. The carrying case has a pocket to hold the bungie cords.


Whether the golf cart cover with cord and carrying case is classifiable under heading 8708, HTSUS, as an accessory of the motor vehicles of heading 8703, HTSUS.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUS - 2 -
govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states in pertinent part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes . . . ."

The merchandise at issue consists of the following articles: a plastic golf cart cover, cord and carrying case. GRI 3(b) states that "[w]hen, by the application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable [underlining added]."

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the Customs Co-operation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings.

The Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b), pg. 4, state that for the purposes of this rule, the term goods put up in sets for retail sale shall be taken to mean goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings . . .;
(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and
(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards) [emphasis in original].

If imported separately, the textile carrying case would be classifiable under heading 4202, HTSUS, which provides for "[t]runks, suitcases . . . and similar containers; travelling bags . . . tool bags, sports bags . . . and similar containers." The elastic bungie cord would be classifiable under heading 5609, HTSUS, which provides for "[a]rticles of cordage, rope or cable, not elsewhere specified or included." Thus, the articles meet - 3 -
part (a) of the test. It is our opinion that the articles also meet parts (b) and (c) of the test.

Because the articles are "goods put up in sets for retail sale," it is necessary to determine which component--the cover, cord or carrying case--gives the set its essential character. Clearly, the cover is that component. Thus, it is necessary to determine the classification of the plastic cover, as that classification will represent the classification of the entire set.

The headings at issue are as follows:

3926 Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914

8708 Parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705

EN 39.26, pg. 575, states that heading 3926, HTSUS, "covers articles, not elsewhere specified or included, of plastics." Thus, if the cover is covered by heading 8708, HTSUS, it cannot be classified in this "basket" provision.

EN 87.08, pg. 1432, states that heading 8708, HTSUS, covers parts and accessories provided that they meet the following requirements: (1) they must be identifiable as being suitable for use solely or principally with the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705, HTSUS; (2) they must not be excluded by the provisions of the notes to section XVII; and (3) they must not be more specifically included elsewhere in the tariff schedule.

The cover in question is suitable for use principally during the operation of the motor vehicles of heading 8703, HTSUS. Further, the cover is not excluded by the notes to section XVII, nor is it more specifically provided for elsewhere in the tariff schedule. Thus, it is our opinion that the cover and, according to GRI 3(b), the set, are classifiable under subheading 8708.29.00, HTSUS, which provides for other accessories of motor vehicle bodies.

In HQ 953274, dated February 16, 1993, textile automobile covers with elasticized corners and pockets for side view mirrors were classified as other made up textile articles under subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUS. The apparent purpose of these covers was to protect motor vehicles from damage caused by harsh weather or other outside forces. While these textile covers are not classifiable as accessories of motor vehicles, plastic covers
placed on the vehicle while in use are classifiable under heading 8708, HTSUS.


The golf cart cover, cord and carrying case are classifiable under subheading 8708.29.00, HTSUS, which provides for "[p]arts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705 . . . [o]ther parts and accessories of bodies . . . [o]ther." The corresponding rate of duty (Column 1, General) for articles of this subheading is 3.1% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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