United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1997 HQ Rulings > HQ 959575 - HQ 959703 > HQ 959640

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 959640

APRIL 24, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 959640 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 9209.92.80

Ms. L. Perri
American Leather
7696 Westburne Drive
Concord, Ontario
Canada L4K4V5

RE: Guitar Strap, Adjustable Strap of Polypropylene and Leather; Parts and Accessories for the Musical Instruments of Heading 9202; Additional U. S. Rule 1(c), HTSUS; HQ 957719; Originating Good, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Dear Ms. Perri:

Your undated letter, received by the Port Director of Customs in Buffalo on October 30, 1996, inquiring as to the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) of a guitar strap, has been referred to this office for reply. A sample accompanied your letter.


The submitted sample is of 100 percent filament polypropylene woven fabric, 2 inches in width, with a triangular-shaped eyelet of leather sewn onto each end. The strap is adjustable to a length of 45 inches to accommodate various sized instruments. You state that the polypropylene is a Canadian-made product while the leather is of United States origin.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

9202 Other string musical instruments (for example, guitars, violins, harps):

9209 Parts...and accessories of musical instruments;...:

9209.92 Parts and accessories for the musical instruments of heading 9202:

9209.92.80 Other...5.4 percent ad valorem (0.6 percent ad valorem as an originating good under the NAFTA)


Whether the strap is a part or accessory for guitars.


Merchandise is classifiable under the 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. In accordance with Additional U.S. Rule 1(c), HTSUS, parts and accessories must be solely or principally used with the article with which they are classified.

Guitars, violins and harps, among other string musical instruments, are provided for in heading 9202, HTSUS. Parts and accessories of goods of that heading are provided for in heading 9209. The submitted strap is not a "part" for tariff purposes as it is not an integral, constituent and component part necessary to the completion and proper functioning of a guitar or other plucked string instrument. It does, however, qualify as an "accessory," as that term is understood for tariff purposes. Accessories are of secondary importance, not essential in and of themselves. They must, however, somehow contribute to the effectiveness of the principal article (e.g., facilitate its use or handling, widen its range of uses, or improve its operation). See HQ 957719, dated July 26, 1995, and related cases. While not required for the operation of a guitar or other string instrument, the strap in issue facilitates the use of these instruments by supporting them, thus freeing the user's hands to pluck the strings. The strap is an accessory for tariff purposes. No brochures or other product literature accompanied your letter. We will therefore presume that the strap in issue is solely or principally used with guitars, as you have stated.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the submitted strap is provided for in heading 9209. It is classifiable in subheading 9209.92.80, HTSUS. As a good produced entirely in the territory of Canada and the United States, it is dutiable under the NAFTA at the rate of 0.6 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: