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HQ 959350

FEBRUARY 19, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 959350 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8714.99.10, 8714.99.50

Port Director of Customs
300 S. Ferry Street
Terminal Island, CA 90731

RE: PRD 2704-96-10 1010; Bicycle Shift Levers; Parts and Accessories, Derailleur Control Lever for Bicycles, Handlebar-Mounted Device for Changing Derailleur Gears on a Bicycle; Click Stick Control Levers, Subheading 8714.99.10, Non-Click Control Levers, Parts of Derailleurs, Subheading 8714.99.50; GRI 3(a), GRI 6; HQ 087303, HQ 955882

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 2704-96-101010, filed against your classification of control levers for changing gears on a bicycle derailleur. The entry under protest was liquidated on February 23, 1996, and this protest timely filed on March 29, 1996.


The bicycle shift levers, designated RH Shifter and Grip Shifter on submitted blueprints, are the models 50473, 50234PA, 50236PA, 50474, 51238 and 51239, from Taiwan. They are thumb-actuated control levers mounted on the handlebars of a bicycle and designed to convert the rider's thumb torque to linear push/pull force which is transmitted through an attached cable to the derailleur gears of 5-10-12 speed bicycles. The force is transmitted to a gear-change mechanism in the derailleur which alters the line of the chain and causes it to jump from one sprocket to another according to the gear ratio selected. The shift levers or control levers are of two types, continuous and discrete. Continuous or so-called non-click control levers contain no ratchets or other mechanisms that permit the rider to know when a particular gear ratio has been reached. The rider gains a feel for the gear change by the tension exerted on the - 2 -
pedals. Discrete control levers are manufactured to preset gear ratio settings ("L" to "H") which the rider can select and which initiate an audible or tactile "clicking" as the chain moves from one sprocket to another.

The merchandise was entered free of duty under subheading 8714.99.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as parts of derailleurs. The protestant maintains that these control levers are used in a bicycle derailleur system, and that, unlike the handlebar-mounted levers in issue here, click stick levers were designed for mounting on the frame of a bicycle and are no longer manufactured. Your office determined that control levers represented by models 50473 and 50234PA are classifiable as parts of derailleurs, as protestant claims. However, you also found that activating the control levers represented by the remaining four models resulted in an audible or tactile "click" and reclassified these models under subheading 8714.99.10, HTSUS, which provides for click twist grips and click stick levers.


Whether the four (4) bicycle shifter levers in issue are click stick levers 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. Under GRI 3(a), where goods are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings, the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. GRI 6 states in part that for legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, by appropriate substitution of terms, to GRIs 1 through 5, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable.

It is agreed that the control levers under protest are parts or accessories which are solely or principally used with bicycles of heading 8712. The appropriate heading, therefore, is 8714. - 3 -

See Section XIII, Note 3, HTSUS. Absent a clearly expressed Congressional intent to the contrary, words used in a tariff provision will be presumed to be used in their normal sense. The articles in question control a bicycle's derailleur gear system and, when activated, initiate an audible or tactile clicking. These control levers are described by the terms of subheading 8714.99.10. But, the control levers are also integral, constituent and component parts necessary to activate the gear-change mechanism in the derailleur gear system. They are also described by the terms of subheading 8714.99.50. Applying GRI 3(a) at the subheading level through GRI 6, we find that subheading 8714.99.10, HTSUS, provides the most specific description for the four control lever models in issue. See HQ 087303, dated August 17, 1990, and HQ 955882, dated May 17, 1994, on combination brake levers/click twist levers.


As agreed, bicycle control levers represented by models 50473 and 50234PA should be reclassified in subheading 8714.99.50, HTSUS and the protest ALLOWED as to these models. Under the authority of GRI 3(a), HTSUS, applied at the subheading level through GRI 6, bicycle control levers represented by models 50236PA, 50474, 51238 and 51239 are classifiable in subheading 8714.99.10, HTSUS. The protest should be DENIED as to these models.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you should mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and to the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, the Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification
Appeals Division

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