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HQ 962690

SEPTEMBER 22, 1999

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 962690 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8704.90.00

Port Director of Customs
10 Causeway Street, Suite 603
Boston, MA 02222-1059

RE: Protest 0401-99-100014; Chassis, Wheel Assembly, Battery Assembly for Motorized Golf Bag Cart; Incomplete or Unfinished Article

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 0401-99-100014, filed against your classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of three components for a motorized cart for transporting a golf bag with clubs. The entries under protest were liquidated on October 16, 1998, and this protest timely filed on January 13, 1999.


The merchandise at issue is three components of the PowaKaddy Classic, a 3-wheeled, motorized cart for carrying a golf bag with clubs. These components are identified as the Classic chassis, part PK1008, Classic clip-on wheel assembly, part PK759, and the Classic battery assembly without box, part PK855. Submitted literature and a schematic indicate the Classic chassis incorporates a body of lightweight polymer through which passes a single axle with a sealed drive and gear unit that acts as a partial brake, and a rectangular housing for the battery. It also includes a motor and controller which mount on the body directly over the axle. The wheels attach to each end of the axle and the battery fits into the housing. The three components are imported unassembled.

Added after importation to complete the PowaKaddy Classic are a third wheel with mechanism for supporting the bottom of the bag that attaches to the body, a contoured tubular steel handle with bag restraint, topped by L-shaped grip for steering and equipped with finger-operated variable speed control.

The so-called chassis and wheel assembly were separately entered under a provision of heading 8706, HTSUS, as chassis fitted with engines for the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705. The battery was entered under a provision of 8507, HTSUS, as electric storage batteries. In liquidation, the three components were found to constitute an incomplete or unfinished motor vehicle of heading 8704, imported unassembled.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

8507 Electric storage batteries...:

8704 Motor vehicles for the transport of goods:

Other, with spark-ignition internal combustion piston engine:

8704.90.00 Other

8706.00 Chassis fitted with engines, for the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705:

For the vehicles of subheading 8701.20 or 8704.31:

8706.00.05 Other


Whether the three golf cart components, as imported, constitute an incomplete or unfinished motor vehicle of heading 8704.


Under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), goods are to be classified according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. Though not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Counsel for the protestant concedes that complete or finished motorized carts are classifiable as motor vehicles for the transport of goods, in heading 8704. In fact, HQ 958326, dated December 20, 1995, classified a complete PowaKaddy in subheading 8407.90.00, HTSUS. However, counsel maintains it is inappropriate to classify the three components under protest in heading 8704 utilizing GRI 2(a), because under GRI 1 the chassis assembly and the wheel assembly are provided for in heading 8706, as chassis fitted with engines, and that the battery is separately provided for in heading 8507.

As to counsel’s claim under heading 8706, the ENs, at p. 1551, state that heading covers chassis-frames or the combined chassis-body framework for the motor vehicles of headings 87.01 to 87.05, fitted with their engines and with their transmission and steering gear and axles (with or without wheels). Goods of heading 87.06 are motor vehicles without bodies. However, the ENs continue by stating if the article is a complete or substantially complete vehicle, it is not covered by heading 87.06 (Emphasis original). The issue, then, is whether, as imported, the three components comprise an incomplete or unfinished motor vehicle of heading 8704.

Under GRI 2(a), HTSUS, an incomplete or unfinished article is classifiable as if complete or finished provided that, as entered, the article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. Incomplete or unfinished articles under GRI 2(a) may be entered unassembled or disassembled. The factor which determines essential character will vary with the goods.

The nature of the material or component, its cost or value, or the role a material component plays in relation to the use of the finished good are often relevant factors.

Counsel has not provided us with cost or value information on the three components. Counsel does, however, maintain that because the three components in issue, when assembled, cannot carry anything, they lack the essential character of a motor vehicle of heading 8704. We disagree. The Classic chassis and the Classic clip-on wheel assembly comprise the chassis-body framework which, in large part, supports the golf bag and clubs. Together with the battery, motor and controller, they provide the motive force that imparts the cart’s maneuverability. Only the third wheel with supporting mechanism, and the tubular steel handle with bag restraint and variable speed control are required to complete the cart. The three components under protest, in our opinion, are the very essence of a complete or finished motorized cart. They constitute the aggregate of distinctive component parts that establish its identity as what it is, a motorized cart for carrying a golf bag with clubs. These components have the essential character of the complete or finished article.


Under the authority of GRI 2(a), the Classic chassis, Classic clip-on wheel assembly, and the Classic battery assembly, imported unassembled, have the essential character of a complete or finished PowaKaddy Classic, provided for in heading 8704. They are classifiable in subheading 8704.90.00, HTSUS.

The protest should be DENIED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you are to mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision.

Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will make the decision available to Customs personnel, and to the public on the Customs Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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