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NY E89451

November 12, 1999

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 E89451


TARIFF NO.: 9507.90.8000

Joseph R. Hoffacker
Barthco Trade Consultants, Inc.
7575 Holstein Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19153

RE: The tariff classification of a tackle box with assorted tackle from China.

Dear Mr. Hoffacker:

In your letter dated November 1, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling, on behalf of Consolidated Stores.

The merchandise is labeled as item TB1 and item TB2. Each item is described as a tackle box made of plastic with assorted fishing tackle inside the double-sided tackle box. Aside from stating the number of pieces of tackle in each item number, the ruling request is not specific as to the type of tackle included in each of the two assortments. This ruling’s conclusions are based on the presumption that each complete set will be imported from China in one retail package. No samples were submitted, however color illustrations were attached to the 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 these tackle boxes and assorted fishing tackle kits we note that no one subheading fully describe the articles. Therefore, the articles cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1. Since the articles are each made up of two or more components that if imported separately would be classified under different subheadings, we refer to GRI 3 to classify the fishing tackle combinations. In this regard we note that the individual components may be classifiable as follows: the fish hooks in subheading 9507.20; any fishing reel parts or accessories in subheading 9507.30; and the remaining assorted fishing tackle mainly in subheading 9507.90.

GRI 3 (a) provides that composite articles or sets such as the instant kits are to be classified in the heading that provides the most specific description. Since the description of the various components is equally specific the fishing kits cannot be classified under GRI 3 (a). Accordingly, we must next consider the classification of the kits under GRI 3 (b) that 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; and (c) it is put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without re-packing, in a retail package. Goods classifiable under GRI 3 (b) are classified as if they consisted of the component that 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 fish hooks, the fishing rod parts and accessories, and the assorted fishing tackle all play equally necessary roles in the performance of the sets and are equally essential to the function for which the sets were 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 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 assorted tackle kits would be classified in the subheading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration, leading us to subheading 9507.80, HTSUS. The plastic retail container which is specially fitted for the fishing tackle shall be classified with the tackle in 9507.80, HTSUS by virtue of GRI 5 (a).

The applicable subheading for the two tackle boxes with assorted fishing tackle, items TB1 and TB2, will be 9507.90.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Fishing rods, fish hooks and other line fishing tackleOther, including parts and accessories: Other, including parts and accessories.” The rate of duty will be 9 percent ad valorem. This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 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 212-637-7015.


Robert B. Swierupski

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