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HQ 961143

January 30, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 961143 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.0045

Ms. Marjorie S. Bernman
Samuel Shapiro & Company, Inc.
The Bourse Bldg, Suite 735
111 S. Independence Mall East
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2521

RE: NYRL 813776 revoked; Chinese and Rainbow Jump Ropes

Dear Ms. Bernman:

On August 18, 1995, New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 813776 was issued to you, on behalf of Unique Industries, Inc. concerning item # 3023 described as a Chinese jump rope and item # 5044 described as a rainbow jump rope. In NYRL 813776 you were advised that the jump ropes were classifiable under subheading 9506.91.0030, of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Subheading 9506.91.0030 provides for "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: Other: Articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics or athletics; parts and accessories thereof...Other." Upon further examination, we are of the opinion that these particular jump ropes are properly classified in heading 9503, HTSUS, which provides for "Other toys; reduced-size ("scale") models and similar recreational models, working or not; puzzles of all kinds; parts and accessories thereof."

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1) Tariff Act of 1930 [19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)], as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186), notice of the proposed revocation of NYRL 813776 was published, on December 24, 1997, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 31, Number 52. No comments were received in response to the notice.


The Chinese jump rope is an elasticized rope put around the ankles of 2 players who then stand as far away from each other as the rope will allow; thus forming a rectangle. A third player then jumps into the rectangle out of it, to each side of it and then on both sides at once. The rope is then successively moved up the shins of the other two players to create a new challenge for the 3rd player. Each package contains 4 ropes.

While a description of this particular rainbow jump rope was not available, other jump ropes described as "rainbow jump ropes" of which this office is aware, were made of blue, green yellow, purple, fushia and orange colored braided nylon. Two molded plastic handles were attached to each end of the rope. They measured approximately 6 feet long. We believe the subject "rainbow jump rope" to be substantially similar.


Whether the jump ropes are classifiable as sports equipment or as toys.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The ENs, although not dispositive, or legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. See, T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN 95.03, states in pertinent part, that:

This heading covers:

(A) All toys not included in headings 95.01 and 95.02. Many of the toys of this heading are mechanically or electrically operated.

These include:

(8) Toy sports equipment, whether or not in sets (e.g., golf sets, tennis sets, archery sets, billiard sets; baseball bats, cricket bats, hockey sticks).

(18) Hoops, skipping ropes, diabolo spools and sticks, spinning and humming tops, balls (other than those of heading 95.04 or 95.06).

Certain toys (e.g., electric irons, sewing machines, musical instruments, etc.) may be capable of a limited "use"; but they are generally distinguishable by their size and limited capacity from real sewing machines, etc.

EN 95.06, states, in pertinent part, that:

This heading covers:

(A) Articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics or athletics, e.g.:

Trapeze bars and rings; horizontal and parallel bars; balance beams, vaulting horses; pommel horses; spring boards; climbing ropes and ladders; wall bars; Indian clubs; dumb-bells and barbells; medicine balls; rowing, cycling and other exercising apparatus; chest expanders; hand grips; starting blocks; hurdles; jumping stands and standards; vaulting poles; landing pit pads; javelins, discuses, throwing hammers and putting shots; punch balls (speed bags) and punch bags (punching bags); boxing or wrestling rings; assault course climbing walls.

(B) Requisites for other sports and outdoor games (other than toys presented in sets, or separately, of heading 95.03), e.g.:

(12) Equipment of a kind used in children's playgrounds (e.g., swings, slides, see-saws and giant strides).

(14) Other articles and equipment, such as requisites for deck tennis, quoits or bowls; skate boards; racket presses; mallets for polo or croquet; boomerangs; ice axes; clay pigeons and clay pigeon projectors; bobsleighs (bobsleds), luges and similar non-motorised vehicles for sliding on snow or ice.

EN 95.03 clearly indicates that the heading provides for jump ropes except those which belong to the class or kind "gym equipment." Therefore, we must determine to which class or kind the subject jump ropes belong.

The jump ropes' length, color and construction all indicate they are within the scope of "skipping ropes" described by heading 9503. While we recognize that there is a class or kind of jump rope which is classifiable under heading 9506, the subject jump ropes are not of that kind. Such jump ropes are generally longer, and have a line made from stronger, thinner material. Additionally, such jump ropes generally have handles made of stronger material (e.g., wood) and in some instances the handles contain ball bearings which allow the "rope" to rotate at a much faster rate. Furthermore, jump ropes which belong to the class or kind "sporting equipment" are generally imported and retailed by sports equipment manufacturers, in a sporting goods section of a store. We note that this position is consistent with New York Ruling Letters (NYRL) 895150 dated March 22, 1994 and NYRL 871721 dated March 3, 1992.

The jump ropes are classifiable in heading 9503, HTSUS, specifically, subheading 9503.90.0045, HTSUS, as "Other toys; reduced-size ("scale") models and similar recreational models, working or not; puzzles of all kinds; parts and accessories thereof: Other: Other toys and models."


The jump ropes are classifiable under subheading 9503.90.0045, HTSUS, as "Other toys; reduced-size ("scale") models and similar recreational models, working or not; puzzles of all kinds; parts and accessories thereof: Other: Other toys and models," with a 1998 general column one free rate of duty.

NYRL 813776 is revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1) does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10 (c)(1), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)].


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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