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 > 1998 HQ Rulings > HQ 961255 - HQ 961501 > HQ 961386

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 961386

OCTOBER 19, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 961386 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8708.99.80

Mr. Roger Haynes
Materials Manager
TAKATA Restraint Systems
P.O. Box 1580
Greenwood, MS 38935-1580

RE: NY 814061 Revoked; Automotive Airbag Cushion; Airbag Cover of Textile with Rubber; Parts and Accessories for Motor Vehicles, Airbags, Subheading 8708.99.61; HQ 958624

Dear Mr. Haynes:

In NY 814061, issued to you on September 20, 1995, by the Director, Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, a textile and rubber automotive airbag cushion was held to be classifiable in subheading 8708.99.61, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705, airbags.

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 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY 814061 was published on September 16, 1998, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 32, Number 37. No comments were received in response to that notice.


The merchandise in NY 814061 was described alternatively as an airbag and an airbag cushion. In fact, it is a cushion or cover for an inflatable automotive airbag. The article was said to be 72.9 inches in circumference and composed of a light gray textile outside panel and a dark gray rubber-coated inside panel. The panels are precut to size and sewn together.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

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

8708.99 Other:

8708.99.61 Airbags

8708.99.80 Other


Whether the airbag cushion is an automotive part and accessory of heading 8708.


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. GRI 3(a) states, in part, that 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.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

On the issue of automotive parts or accessories, relevant ENs at p. 1552 state that heading 87.08 covers parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 87.01 to 87.05, provided they are not excluded by Note 2 to Section XVII and they are identifiable as being suitable for use solely or principally with the motor vehicles of those headings. The airbag cushion
meets these criteria. Accordingly, it is described by heading 8708. But, the cushion consists of textile and rubber components or materials. Appropriate headings in Chapters 40 and 63, HTSUS, describe articles of rubber and other made up textile articles, respectively. However, each heading describes part only of the good. They are deemed to be equally specific in relation to the airbag cushion. Moreover, these headings cover a wide range of articles composed of the respective constituent materials. Heading 8708, on the other hand, covers a more limited class of articles, whether of rubber or textile, that are parts and accessories for the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705. We conclude that heading 8708 provides a more specific description for the automotive airbag covers than do other headings which provide a more general description. See HQ 958624, dated February 21, 1996.


Under the authority of GRI 3(a), HTSUS, the airbag cover or cushion, of textile and rubber, is provided for in heading 8708. It is classifiable in subheading 8708.99.80, HTSUS.

NY 814061, dated September 20, 1995, 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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: