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NY D85543

December 30, 1998

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 D85543


TARIFF NO.: 9506.69.6020

Ida Dearinger
Rialto International, Inc.
PO Box 24583 (98124)
Seattle WA 98134

RE: The tariff classification of a sport corkball made in China.

Dear Ms. Dearinger:

In your letter dated November 25, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Markwort Sporting Goods.

The merchandise at issue is described as a corkball and identified as item #CB2 Official Corkball. It measures 6« inches in circumference and weighs but two ounces. The ball looks like a regulation baseball; the outer covering of the corkball is leather with raised seams that imitates the look of a real baseball. However, it is far smaller and weighs less than a traditional baseball, as well as having a different internal composition.

The corkball is suitable for use wholly or principally in the game of Corkball which is said to have some of the features of baseball, yet can be played in a very small area as well as an open, larger area. Like baseball, the action is centered around the pitcher, the catcher and the batter. There is no base running. The pitcher tries to pitch the ball past the batter standing 55 feet distant. If the batter hits the ball past the six foot foul line, he scores a hit. Four hits score a run and the team scoring the most runs in five innings is the winner.

You have contended that the corkball should be considered a baseball for tariff classification purposes and classified under the provision for baseballs in subheading 9506.69.2040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

We disagree. Although classification as baseballs in subheading 9506.69.2040, HTSUS, is not limited to balls which meet the strict standards for materials and construction required by the professional leagues, it has been limited to balls whose physical properties approximate those high qauality, traditional balls. The physical attributes and performance characteristics of corkballs distinguish them from a wide variety of alternate balls used as substitutes for high quality balls used in the practice or organized play of baseball and classifiable in the tariff as baseballs. The corkball is neither specially designed nor principally used at any age or achievment level in the training, practice or competitive play of the sport of baseball.

Consequently, it is our position that the instant corkball is classifiable in subheading 9506.69.6020, HTSUS, which provides for "Articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics, athletics, other sports...: Balls, other than golf balls and table-tennis balls: Other, Other, Other." The rate of duty is 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 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
National Commodity

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