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NY 891998

November 9, 1993

CLA-2-95:S:N:N8:224 891998


TARIFF NO.: 9506.31.0000

David A. Eisen
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson; P.C.
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036-8901

RE: The tariff classification of golf clubs with golf bag from Taiwan.

Dear Mr. Eisen:

In your letter dated November 3, 1993, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Wilson Sporting Goods Company.

The product, stock #G1442 and #G1443, of which a representative sample was provided, is a (men's) golf clubs/bag set - HT/1000 Advantage - comprised of twelve regulation-size golf clubs which will be imported, packaged and sold at retail with a nylon golf bag. The set consists of three clubs designed for long-distance drives and fairway shots, seven clubs designed for medium-range or approach shots, a pitching wedge for the short game and a putter. You state that the golf clubs and golf bag will not be sold separately; that is, the two components will be imported and packaged together, offered for retail sale and sold together in a sealed cardboard carton.

Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) 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 GRI's may then be applied.

The subject item consists of two components: a golf bag and golf clubs. The article cannot be classified by reference to GRI 1 because each component is classifiable in a different heading of the HTS. We then look to GRI 2(b), which in pertinent part states that:

[t]he classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.

GRI 3(a) directs that, when the two headings each refer to only part of the items of a set or composite good, the headings are regarded as equally specific. Therefore, in determining whether the article will be classified under a provision for the clubs or the bag, we next look to GRI 3(b), which states that:

[m]ixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

GRI 3 governs the classification of goods put up in sets for retail sale. The Explanatory Note to GRI 3(b) indicates that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" shall be taken to mean goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

Goods which meet these requirements are classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.

The article in question satisfies the above-mentioned requirements for classification as a set. The article consists of two different components that are classifiable in different headings. Likewise, its components are put up together to meet a particular need (that of engaging in the game of golf). The article is put up in a sealed cardboard carton suitable for direct retail sale to users without repacking. Based on the facts before us, the golf clubs with golf bag is distributed to purchasers in its condition as imported. As the article qualifies as a GRI 3(b) set, we must now determine whether the clubs or the bag constitute the essential character of the set.

Based on the fact that the golf clubs represent a much larger value, that they constitute the primary factor to be considered during a purchase, and they play the principle role in the use of the product, the clubs represent the essential character of the set and, therefore, the entire set is to be classified as if it consisted solely of the golf clubs.

The applicable subheading for the combination golf clubs/golf bag set will be 9506.31.0000, HTS, which provides for golf clubs and other golf equipment; parts and accessories thereof: golf clubs, complete. The rate of duty will be 4.9 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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