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NY C86220

April 8, 1998

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 C86220


TARIFF NO.: 9506.99.1500

David Yamasaki
Easton Sports, Inc.
7855 Haskell Avenue, Suite 200
Van Nuys CA 91406-1902

RE: The tariff classification of a baseball bat cover from China or Thailand.

Dear Mr. Yamasaki:

In your letter dated April 1, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise is a neoprene cover about 51 centimeters in length with a Velcro collar. It is sold at retail as a cover for the barrel of a baseball or softball bat. It's primary use is to protect the bat from scratches or other damage.

The classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (HTS) is governed by 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 Heading and any relative section or chapter notes." The appropriate heading is heading 9506, HTS. This heading describes:

9506 Articles and equipment for gymnastics, athletics, other sports...or outdoor games, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter...

9506.99.15 Baseball articles and equipment, except balls, and parts and accessories thereof.

Chapter 95, Note 3, HTS, states "...parts and accessories which are suitable for use solely or principally with articles of this chapter are to be classified with those articles." The bat cover is marketed exclusively for use with baseball and softball bats, which are provided for within chapter 95, heading 9506.

The term "accessories" has been defined in Customs Ruling Letter 085038, dated September 29, 1989, as "an object or device that is not essential in itself but that adds to the beauty, convenience. or effectiveness of something else. Citing Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged (1986). The bat cover is not essential to the function of a bat, but allows for more convenient and effective care. Therefore, it is the opinion of this office that the neoprene cover is an accessory to baseball and softball bats. It is to be classified within subheading 9506.99.1500, HTS.

The applicable subheading for the bat cover will be 9506.99.1500, HTS, which provides for "Baseball articles and equipment, except balls, and parts and accessories thereof." The duty rate will be 0.6 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 the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Tom McKenna at 212-466-5475.


Robert B. Swierupski Director, National Commodity Specialist Division

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