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NY C86253

April 15, 1998

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 C86253


TARIFF NO.: 9506.99.6080; 4202.92.4500; 3924.10.5000

Peter A. Powell
C.H. Powell Company
1 Intercontinental Way
Peabody MA 01960

RE: The tariff classification of a backpack with pads from China.

Dear Mr. Powell:

In your letter dated April 7, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Seneca Sports, Inc.

The merchandise consists of a prototype sample of a youth model #4579 in-line skate set consisting of protective knee, elbow and wrist pads along with a water bottle packed in a backpack. The sample will be returned at your request.

The backpack is of unsupported polyvinyl chloride (PVC) sheeting on three sides and a polymesh front panel. It has adjustable shoulder straps and a zipper closure. It is of a kind normally sold without these contents and is not specially shaped or fitted.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) set forth the legal framework in which merchandise is to be classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes. Goods that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's taken in order.

The #4579 skate set is a single retail package consisting of five components that are classifiable under three separate headings of the tariff. GRI 3 applies when goods are put up for sale collectively and are classifiable under two or more headings of the tariff; GRI 3(b) covers goods put up in sets for retail sale.

The Explanatory Notes, which represent the official interpretation of the HTSUS at the international level, for GRI 3(b) define "goods put up in sets for retail sale." Such goods: (a) consist of at least two different articles that are classifiable in different headings, (b) consist of products 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.

The components of the this article fail, in our opinion, to constitute a set for tariff classification purposes. They meet the criteria of elements (a) and (c) but when put together do not share a common specific activity nor do they collectively address one particular need. Their only common association is that they are all intended to provide a child safety and protection while skating. The items do not permit a concurrent or coordinated use. Having failed as a set in accordance with GRI 3(b), these disparate items must be classified separately.

The applicable subheading for the protective elbow and knee pads and the wrist guard will be 9505.99.6080, HTSUS, which provides for "Articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics, athletics, other sports...parts and accessories thereof: Other: Other: Other." The duty rate will be 4.1 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the backpack made of PVC sheeting material will be 4202.92.4500, HTSUS, which provides for "travel, sport and similar bags, other." The duty rate is 20 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the plastic water bottle will be 3924.10.5000, HTSUS, which provides for other tableware, kitchenware, other household articles...of plastics. The rate of duty will be 3.4 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 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 466-5475.


Robert Swierupski
National Commodity

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