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HQ 960504

August 13, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 960504 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8708.99.80

Port Director of Customs
H.C.R. 2, Box 23
Del Rio, TX 78840

RE: IA 46/96; Automobile Cargo Restraint Nets; Explanatory Notes 56.08 and
63.07; HQs 086013 and 952942; General Explanatory Note (III) to Section XVII;
NYs 852416, 802306, and A83649; Subheadings 6307.90.99 and 5608.19.20

Dear Port Director:

This is in response to your memorandum dated December 6, 1996, relating to a request for internal advice initiated by R.L. Pohler, U.S. Customhouse Broker, dated November 4, 1996, on behalf of Cenote Plastics, Inc., concerning the classification of automobile cargo restraint nets under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise consists of automobile cargo restraint nets which are made of man-made fiber yarns knitted with what appear to be rubber yarns, forming an elastic mesh suitable for holding cargo in place on a vehicle rooftop or in a vehicle trunk. The nets are each fitted with strapping and plastic hooks enabling the nets to be secured. The dimensions of the cargo nets are approximately 14 inches by 33 inches in their unstretched state.


Whether the automobile cargo restraint nets are classifiable under subheading 5608.19.20, HTSUS, as other made up nets of textile materials, under subheading 6307.90.99, HTSUS, as other made up articles, or under subheading 8708.99.80, HTSUS, as other accessories of motor vehicles.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

5608.19.20: [k]notted netting of twine, cordage or rope; made up fishing nets and other made up nets, of textile materials: [o]f man-made textile materials: [o]ther: [o]ther.

The general, column one rate of duty for goods classifiable under this provision is 8.5 percent ad valorem.

6307.90.99: [o]ther made up articles, including dress patterns: [o]ther: [o]ther:

The general, column one rate of duty for goods classifiable under this provision is 7 percent ad valorem.

8708.99.80: [p]arts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to
8705: [o]ther parts and accessories: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther.

The general, column one rate of duty for goods classifiable under this provision is 2.7 percent ad valorem.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive or legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). In part, Explanatory Note 56.08 (p. 858) states:

(1) Knotted netting of twine, cordage or rope.

These products are simply lengths of netting, i.e., open mesh knotted fabric made either by hand or by machine. They differ from the net fabrics of heading 58.04 in that they are made of the twine, cordage or rope of heading 56.07.

(2) Made up fishing nets and other made up nets, of textile materials.

As distinct from the products referred to in paragraph (1) above, made up articles of this group may be made of yarn and the open mesh may be obtained by knotting or otherwise.

Made up nets are nets, whether or not ready for use, made directly to shape or assembled from pieces of netting. The presence of handles, rings, weights, floats, cords or other accessories does not affect the classification of the goods of this group.

Made up nets of this heading are restricted to those nets not covered more specifically by other headings of the Nomenclature. The heading includes fishing nets, camouflage nets, theatrical scenery nets, safety nets, net shopping bags and similar carrying nets (e.g., for tennis balls or footballs), hammocks, balloon or air-ship nets, etc.

Based upon Explanatory Note 56.08, it would appear that the restraint nets are other made up nets of textile materials described under subheading 5608.19.20, HTSUS. The restraint nets are "made directly to shape or assembled from pieces of netting", and the presence of the strapping and plastic hooks does not affect the description of the merchandise under heading 5608, HTSUS. Also, the heading is quite broad in including made up nets with many different uses.

However, in HQ 086013, dated February 2, 1990, which dealt with the classification of a hammock under the HTSUS, we stated that:

[t]o be classified in heading 5608, the hammock must be made up of net fabric. Knotted net fabrics of twine, cordage or rope are classified in heading 5608. Heading 5804, provides for tulles and other net fabrics, not including woven, knitted or crocheted fabrics. The Explanatory Notes for heading 5804 discuss various types of net fabrics. Heading 5804 excludes nets or netting of heading 5608 (knotted netting of twine, cordage or rope). On initial inspection it may appear that the hammock is of net fabric, however, it fails to meet the description of net fabrics in heading 5804. The Explanatory Notes for heading 5804 describes net fabrics as follows:

Net fabrics have three series of threads: parallel warp threads, mesh threads and binding threads (e.g., filet net). Each mesh thread runs alternately alongside different warps forming square meshes as it passes from one to the other. The binding threads hold the fabric together by binding the mesh threads to the warp threads in certain places (see Figure 4).

The hammock's fabric does not have three series of threads. Instead, it appears to only have warp threads that are intertwined in a type of braid. Additionally, net fabrics are generally constructed by knotting, twisting or fusing yarns together at each point of intersection. See, Debbie Ann Gioello, Understanding Fabrics: From Fiber to Finished Cloth (1982); B. Corbman, Textiles: Fiber to Fabric (5th ed. 1975). This type of construction lends a stability to the fabric that the hammock's fabric lacks.

Since the hammock's fabric fails to qualify as net fabric, the hammock cannot be classified in heading 5608. Classification in heading 6306 has been suggested as an alternative because the article at issue is a hammock and hammocks are among the items mentioned in the Explanatory Notes for inclusion within the heading.

It is our understanding that the subject restraint nets are not made up of net fabric as described in Explanatory Note 58.04 above. Therefore, based upon the holding in HQ 086013, even though they may appear to be classifiable under heading 5608, HTSUS, the restraint nets are precluded from such a classification.

In part, Explanatory Note 63.07 (p. 948) states that:

[t]his heading covers made up articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically in other headings of Section XI or elsewhere in the

Even though the restraint nets are described under heading 6307, HTSUS, as other made up articles, we must determine whether they are more specifically described elsewhere in the HTSUS.

In HQ 952942, dated April 27, 1993, we stated that "a part of an article, for tariff purposes, is a thing necessary to the completion of that article. It is an integral, constituent or component part, without which the article to which it is joined could not function as such article. An accessory, on the other hand, is something that is not essential in itself but adds to the effectiveness of something else. In each case, the nature, function, and purpose of an article must be examined in relation to the article to which it is attached or which it is designed to serve." We find that the restraint nets are automobile accessories in that, although not essential to its operation, they add to the effectiveness of an automobile by securing cargo either on the rooftop or in the trunk.

In part, General Explanatory Note (III) (p. 1530) to section XVII, HTSUS, states:


. . . It should, however, be noted that these headings apply only to those parts or accessories which comply with all three of the following conditions:

(a) They must not be excluded by the terms of Note 2 to this Section (see paragraph (A) below).
and (b) They must be suitable for use solely or principally with the articles of
Chapters 86 to 88 (see paragraph (B) below).
and (c) They must not be more specifically included elsewhere in the
Nomenclature (see paragraph (C) below).

The restraint nets are not excluded by the terms of section XVII, note 2, HTSUS, as required by (a) above, and it is our understanding that they are principally designed for use with the motor vehicles of chapter 87, HTSUS, satisfying requirement (b). Because of such a principal use, it is our position that the restraint nets are more specifically provided for under heading 8708, HTSUS, as opposed to heading 6307, HTSUS. Therefore, in accordance with requirement (c) above and Explanatory Note 63.07, the restraint nets are precluded from classification under subheading 6307.90.99, HTSUS, and are classifiable under subheading 8708.99.80, HTSUS. See NY 852416, dated May 22, 1990; NY 802306, dated October 20, 1994; and NY A83649, dated June 5, 1996.


The automobile cargo restraint nets are classifiable under subheading 8708.99.80, HTSUS, as other accessories of motor vehicles.

This decision should be mailed by your office to the internal advice requester no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. On this date, the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Ruling Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Freedom of Information Act, and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

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