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NY C89171

June 25, 1998

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 C89171


TARIFF NO.: 9507.90.8000

Machelle Blair

Wal Mart Stores, Inc.

702 Southwest 8th Street

Bentonville AR 72716-8023

RE: The tariff classification of a fishing rod and reel, tackle box and 75 piece tackle kit, from China.

Dear Ms. Blair:

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

The merchandise under consideration is labeled as the Complete Fishing Kit. It consists of an unmounted fishing reel, a four foot six inch two-piece tubular glass fishing rod, a double-sided plastic tackle box, and a 75 piece tackle pack which contains a stringer, sinkers, bait hooks, jigs, spinners, plastic grub and other artificial bait. The reel contains an unknown length of 8 lb. line. This ruling's conclusions are based on the presumption that the complete kit will be imported from China and sold in one retail package. The sample has a vendor stock number of completespwkit. 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 complete 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, the reel in subheading 9507.30, HTSUS, the empty double-sided tackle box in heading 4202, HTSUS, and the tackle pack and contents in subheadings 9507.20 and 9507.90, HTSUS.

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 various components play more or less 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 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 9507.90.8000, HTSUS.

The applicable subheading for a complete fishing kit, vendor stock #completespwkit consisting of a fishing rod with reel, fishing line, an empty tackle box, and a tackle pack made up of hooks, sinkers and artificial bait, is classifiable in subheading 9507.90.8000, HTSUS, the provision for fishing rods, fish hooks and other line fishing tackle;...other: other, including parts and accessories: other. Articles so classified are subject to a general rate of duty of 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 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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