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HQ 963765

April 5, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963765 BJB


TARIFF NO.: 6306.22.9030

Mr. Craig Adams, Owner
Adams International
15316 NW Troon Drive
Portland, OR 97229-0915

RE: Child’s Mobile Command Center; dome structure; headings 6306 and 9503, HTSUS; EN 63.06; Note 1(u) to Chapter 95.

Dear Mr. Adams:

This is in response to your letter of February 10, 2000, to the Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, requesting a ruling on the classification of a “Child’s Mobile Command Center, pursuant to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter and sample were forwarded to this office for response.


The merchandise is described as a ”Child’s Mobile Command Center.” The sample article forms a dome-like structure composed of a fiberglass pole frame enclosed by a water repellant treated nylon fabric covering (“dome”). The dome covering has four wall panels. The dome structure measures approximately 48 inches wide by 48 inches long by 42 inches high. Two poles support the dome structure. The poles are inserted through fabric seams, approximately 32 inches in length, sewn along the four external edges of the nylon covering. The poles are exposed at the top of the dome and at each of the four base corners. The four ends of the two poles are inserted into form-fitted plastic end pieces, secured to the dome covering by nylon web loops attached at each of the four base corners. Two nylon strips are sewn to the top of the dome covering and are tied to further secure the covering to the frame. The strips are tied to the apex formed by the intersecting poles above the dome’s roof.

The dome structure has two openings. These openings are located on opposite panels of the dome covering (“door panels”). The first is a zippered “slit” opening, 28 inches long, with a double-sided zipper. The second is a half-moon shaped aperture measuring 24” high and approximately 23.5” across the base. This opening is also opened and closed with double-sided zippers. Both openings may be secured from either inside or outside the structure.

The first “slit opening,” may be secured closed or unzipped to form a right and a left flap. These flaps may be held open by an elastic band loop and hook combination. When unzippered, the second opening forms a half-moon shaped flap connected to the dome covering along its base. This flap may be secured closed by a, double-sided zipper combination.

The other two dome panels are made of the same water repellant nylon fabric but each include a mesh ventilation panel located approximately 12 inches from the center point of the dome roof. Each of the mesh panels measures approximately 5.75 inches high and 27.5 inches wide.

The dome has no floor and is partially painted with “action figure” characters and other “spaceship” type scenery.


Whether the articles are classified under heading 6306, HTSUS, as tents, or under heading 9503, HTSUS, as toys.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). Under GRI 1, 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.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes (ENs), although not dispositive or legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 98-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

6306 Tarpaulins, awnings and sunblinds; tents; sails for boats, sailboards or landcraft; camping goods:


6306.22 Of synthetic fibers:


6306.29.00 Of other textile materials

9503 Other toys; reduced-size ("scale") models and similar recreational models, working or not; puzzles of all kinds; parts and accessories thereof:

9503.90.00 Other

The general ENs for Chapter 95, HTSUS, state, in pertinent part, that, "[a]part from the articles excluded in the following Explanatory Notes, this chapter also excludes:...(c) Tents and camping goods (generally heading 63.06) . . .." Therefore, if the subject article meets the tariff definition of "tent," it is excluded from classification as toys.

Further, Note 1(u) to Chapter 95, HTSUS, states that the chapter does not include "Racket strings, tents or other camping goods, or gloves (classified according to their constituent material)."

Customs has generally determined that articles similar to the instant merchandise were classifiable under subheading 6306.22.9030, HTSUS. See HQ 962984, dated March 23, 2000; HQ 963702, dated March 23, 2000; HQ 962983, dated March 29, 2000; HQ 963574, dated September 24, 1999; HQ 962147, dated April 6, 1999; HQ 085269, dated April 13, 1990; and HQ 087116, dated July 17, 1990. However, in a number of rulings involving merchandise distinguishable from the present article, Customs has determined, for example, that a slumber hut, a multi-unit play environment, a ball pit, a ball barrel, and a slipcover play house (without a frame), were classifiable under heading 9503, HTSUS, as toys (See, HQ rulings: 962408, 960123, 956974, 957639 and 959998).

We begin our analysis with the terms of heading 6306, HTSUS, which provides for, "Tarpaulins, Awnings and Sunblinds; Tents; Sails for Boats, Sailboards, or Landcraft; Camping Goods."

EN 63.06 provides that:

(4) Tents are shelters made of lightweight to fairly heavy fabrics of man-made fibres, cotton or blended textile materials, whether or not coated, covered or laminated, or of canvas. They usually have a single or double roof and sides or walls (single or double), which permit the formation of an enclosure. The heading covers tents of various sizes and shapes, e.g., marquees and tents for military, camping (including backpack tents), circus, beach use. They are classified in this heading, whether or not they are presented complete with their tent poles, tent pegs, guy ropes or other accessories.

Caravan "awnings" (sometimes known as caravan annexes) which are tent-like structures are also regarded as tents. They are generally made of man-made fibre fabrics or of fairly thick canvas. They consist of three walls and a roof and are designed to augment the living space provided by a caravan.

In HQ 089149, dated July 30, 1991, Customs ruled that a play tent was classifiable under subheading 6306.22.9030, because the definition of "tent" set forth in the ENs was broad enough to cover many types of tents, including play tents. See also, HQ 950217, dated December 19, 1991, affirming HQ 089149. See also: HQ 087116, dated July 17, 1990; HQ 088644, dated June 13, 1991; HQ 086969, dated April 27, 1990; HQ 086867, dated April 26, 1990; HQ 085269, dated April 13, 1990; and HQ 084745, dated September 15, 1989, all indicating that play and slumber tents met the EN definition of "tents" and therefore were excluded from classification as toys.

Not every article, which provides amusement or “play situations” to children, is considered a toy for classification purposes. Note 1 to Chapter 95, HTSUS, lists several articles that might be considered toys, but which are excluded from Chapter 95. Children’s tents are a prominent example of this. If the Chapter Note did not instruct Customs to exclude "tents," each case would have to be judged against the parameters for classification of "toys" as well as "tents." Instead, Note 1(u) to Chapter 95, excludes “[r]acket strings, tents or other camping goods, . . ..” Finally, we note that Customs classifies merchandise in the condition in which it is imported. How and where an article is sold is an ancillary consideration. If the subject article meets the definition of a tent, it should be, pursuant to Note 1(u) to Chapter 95, excluded from classification in Chapter 95; regardless of its claimed use.

In accordance with the aforecited rulings, the dome structure must be examined to determine whether it meets the term “tent” in heading 6306 in light of its EN, and would therefore, according to Note 1(u) to Chapter 95, be excluded from classification as a toy.

The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, 1999, p.1215, defines "tent" as "a collapsible shelter of fabric (as nylon or canvas) stretched and sustained by poles and used for camping outdoors or as a temporary building.” The description of articles belonging to the class or kind, "tents," in EN 63.06, is very broad in scope. The breadth of this scope coupled with the dictionary’s broad definition leads us to believe that for an article to be considered a "tent" it must, at a minimum, be covered by some flexible material, be sustained by a frame/skeleton, and provide a minimum amount of shelter.

The dome structure is covered with water repellant, nylon fabric. While specific information regarding the tensile strength or thickness of the nylon fabric used for the subject articles has not been provided, neither heading 6306, nor EN 63.06 (4), require that the material used to construct a tent conform to a predetermined thickness.

In HQ 962147, Customs determined that hunting or duck blinds, constructed of a lightweight synthetic (nylon) woven camouflage pattern fabric, hung over a pole frame made of steel or fiberglass, featuring openings on all four sides at shoulder height and in the roof, still constituted a tent. In HQ 089149, Customs held that a play tent was classifiable in subheading 6306.22.9030, because the description of “tent” set forth in the ENs was broad enough to cover many types of tents, including play tents. Not unlike the tent in HQ 962147, the subject articles are constructed with nylon fabric treated to provide a minimum level of water repellant protection. Moreover, the specifications and sample you’ve provided demonstrate that this article is intended for some outdoor use.

EN 63.06(4), does not require that tent fabric be “coated, covered, or laminated, or of canvas.” However, where the dome covering is in fact treated with a water repellant, and its flaps may be secured closed, this reflects an intention of outdoor use.

The present article is covered with a solid colored cloth on its roof and a “spaceship” pattern replete with “action figure” characters, on two of its four nylon panels. However, none of the heading, section, chapter notes, ENs, or Headquarters rulings suggest that the application of one design or color, even a military camouflage pattern, or of a spaceship console, can substantively alter the nature of the article. Thus, whether an article is brightly colored, painted with camouflage colors or with a picture of a steel door, the fact that the article is still a tent, has not been changed.

The article is held erect by a flexible frame or skeleton. The frame is constructed of fiberglass poles resistant to the corrosive effects of continuous outdoor use. There is no apparent danger that the corrosive effects of oxidization or metal fatigue will occur even with extended exposure to outdoor use. This being noted, there are no requirements that a tent frame must be treated to prevent any particular degree of oxidization or corrosion.

In fact, there is no requirement that tent poles be capable of withstanding any particular degree of structural stress. Further, under EN 63.06(4), there is no requirement that a tent “be presented complete with their tent poles, tent pegs, guy ropes or other accessories.” The use of fiberglass poles as supports, does however, provide evidence that the structural frame can readily withstand moisture, moulding, and decay, and demonstrates an intention that the article is intended to withstand some continued outdoor use.

The article is distinguishable from the “slipcover-like textile ‘play house,’” classified in subheading 9503.90.0030, HTSUS, (discussed in HQ 959998, dated August 17, 1997), and the “toy bed tent,” classified in subheading 9503.90.6000, (in HQ 954239, dated September 14, 1993). It should be noted for example, that unlike the present article, the slipcover-like textile “play house” in HQ 959998, had no structure unless the article was placed over a card or similar table.

Having determined that the article is covered by some flexible material, and is sustained by a durable frame/skeleton, it remains to determine whether it also provides a minimum amount of shelter.

The subject article provides a ventilated and shaded enclosure, providing a child cover, whether on the beach or in the backyard. The article has a defined roof, tent flaps that are securable by double-sided zippers, and a flexible weather resistant frame to protect its occupants from a rain shower, an errant garden hose, or from the hot sun.

As indicated by EN 63.06, the definition of tents is broad enough to include many types of tents, including those which are not per se, “shelters,” but that do provide protection against some elements. Customs has interpreted the term “tents” to include a variety of articles which are “shelters,” made of textile materials that form a protective enclosure and, therefore, fall within the class or kind of merchandise considered tent-like structures. The presence of mesh fabric vents affords protection against additional elements, including flying insects, while ensuring air circulation during a hot day.

Although this article lacks various structural features, including a floor covering or any mechanism to secure its frame or shell to the ground, Customs has held that the presence or absence of such structural features does not separate playhouses and slumber tents from the class or kind of articles known as tents, nor does the heading require such. See EN 6306(4), and e.g., HQ 962984, 963702, 962983, 950217 and 089149.

In the case of this article, it is our view that the parameters for classification in heading 6306, have been met for the following reasons:

The water repellant, nylon fabric construction is not flimsy. The article is suitable and intended for some outdoor use;

The dome structure is designed with securable door and opening flaps, and a rain repellant roof. It has a flexible frame and is designed to provide some minimal protection against the elements of sun, sand, and breezes.

As we have concluded that the article is classifiable in heading 6306, there is no need to discuss classification in heading 9503. See also, HQ 963574, dated September 24, 1999; HQ 087116, dated July 17, 1990, HQ 088644, dated June 13, 1994, and HQ 089149, dated July 30, 1991, affirmed in HQ 950217, dated December 19, 1991.


The dome structure at issue is provided for under subheading 6306.22.9030, HTSUS, which provides for tents, of synthetic fibers, other. The quota category for each of these articles is category 669.

The designated textile and apparel categories and their quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the U.S. Customs Service Textile Status Report, an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available at the Customs Web site at www.customs.gov. In addition, the designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected and should also be verified at the time of shipments.”


John Durant, Director Commercial Rulings Division

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