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NY C89170

June 22, 1998

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 C89170


TARIFF NO.: 9507.30.2000; 9507.30.4000

Machelle Blair

Wal Mart Stores, Inc.

702 Southwest 8th Street

Bentonville AR 72716-8023

RE: The tariff classification of a fishing rod and reel from China.

Dear Ms. Blair:

In your letter dated June 12, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise is labeled as a child's "fish'n kit" and consists of a four foot six inch fishing rod blister packed with a reel containing monofilament line, and a small practice casting plug, vendor stock #sc35kit. This ruling's conclusions are based on the presumption that the complete kit will be imported from China in one retail package. The sample will be returned at your request.

Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs are applied, taken in order.

In considering the classification of this fishing kit we note that no one subheading fully describes the article. Therefore, the article cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1. Since the article is made up of two components which if imported separately would be classifiable under different subheadings, we must refer to GRI 3 to classify the kit. In this regard we note that the individual components are classifiable as follows: the fishing rod in subheading 9507.10, HTSUS, and the reel in subheading 9507.30, HTSUS. The plastic two inch casting plug is considered de minimis to the whole and will not be used in a GRI 3 determination of the classification of this kit.

GRI 3(a) provides that a composite article or a set such as the instant kit is to be classified in the heading which provides the most specific description. Since the description of the various components is equally specific the kit cannot be classified under GRI 3(a). Accordingly, we must next consider the classification of the kit under GRI 3(b) which covers, among other things, goods put up in sets for retail sale.

Explanatory Note X to GRI 3(b), which represents the opinion of the international classification experts, provides that merchandise is a set put up for retail sale if it is composed of: (a) at least two different items classifiable in different headings (or subheadings); (b) it consists of items put up together to meet a particular need, (here, specifically, to serve as an introductory sport fishing device); and (c) it is put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking, in a retail package. Goods classifiable under GRI 3 (b) are classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character, which may be determined by the nature of the component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the article.

In considering all these factors we have concluded that the rod and reel components both play equally necessary roles and are equally essential to the kit's performance of the function for which it was designed. Accordingly, we must refer to GRI 3(c) which provides that when goods cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a) or (b), they are to be classified in the heading (or subheading) which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration in determining their classification.

Accordingly, by virtue of GRI 3(c) the kit would be classified in the subheading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration, leading us to subheading 9507.30, HTSUS.

The applicable subheading for the stock #sc35kit "fish'n kit" fishing kit will depend on the value of the supplied reel. If the individual reel is valued at $2.70 or below, the entire fishing kit is classifiable in subheading 9507.30.2000, HTSUS, which provides for "Fishing reels and parts and accessories thereof: fishing reels: Valued not over $2.70 each". The duty rate will be 9.2 percent ad valorem.

If the fishing kit's reel is valued at over $2.70 but not over $8.45 each, then the entire fishing kit is classifiable in subheading 9507.30.4000, HTSUS, which provides for "fishing reels and parts and accessorie thereof: Fishing reels: Valued over $2.70 but not over $8.45 each". The duty rate will be .25 cents each.

Note: When rod/reel combinations are classified in one of the three reel provisions of subheading 9507.30 by virtue of GRI 3 (b) or (c), we do not add together the costs of the rod and reel to determine the actual subheading classifiication. Rather, we determine the proper subheading based on the cost of the reel component only, and then apply that subheading's duty rate to the combined value of the rod and reel package (or, in the case of the specific rate of subheading 9507.30.4000, to the total number of rod and reel units.)

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

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