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NY F82953

February 17, 2000

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 F82953


TARIFF NO.: 9506.99.6080

Jason Ostapyk
Quest Limited
255 Cambridge Street North
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1R 7B1

RE: The tariff classification of “Shaft”, a stabilizer beam for in-line skating from Taiwan.

Dear Mr. Ostapyk:

In your letter dated February 1, 2000, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You are requesting the tariff classification on a product that is called “Shaft”, a stabilizer beam for in-line skating. The product is a cylindrical, aluminum tube. One end of the beam has a removable brake pad used for increasing the stopping ability of an in-line skater. The other end of the beam has an insert for supporting an implement useful for stabilizing the in-line skater while skating. The implement is a free turning wheel. A sample was not included with the ruling request, but a detailed description and illustration were provided.

Your ruling request suggests that the “Shaft” stabilizer beam, used only to accompany a person wearing in-line skates, is consequently a skating accessory and classifiable in subheading 9506.70.2090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for roller skates and parts and accessories thereof.

Although it appears that the stabilizing beam is solely and principally used while skating, we disagree with your conclusion that it must therefore be an accessory to skates. We have noted in numerous Customs rulings on skates and skate equipment that the term “accessory” is not defined in either the HTSUS or the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized System. However, we have repeatedly noted that an accessory, in addition to being an article related to a primary article and used solely or principally with that article, must contribute to the effectiveness of the principal article (e.g., facilitate the use or handling of the principal article, widen the range of its uses, or improve its operation). We also have noted that Webster’s Dictionary defines an accessory as an object or device that is not essential in itself but adds to the beauty, convenience, or effectiveness of something else.

While the balance beam helps to slow down the skater, provides stability and balance, and is said to contribute to the upper body workout, it does not contribute to the effectiveness of the in-line skates by making them faster or smoother. Furthermore, it does not add any other capabilities to the skates. The beam has little to do with the use or handling of skates, does not function to enhance their appearance or convenience, and does not have anything to do with the operational effectiveness of the in-line skates themselves. Instead, this equipment aids the skater in maintaining balance and slowing down momentum. This being the case, we do not consider the article to be a part or accessory to a roller or in-line skate. Therefore, this merchandise is excluded from consideration in subheading 9506.70.20.

The applicable subheading for the stabilizing beam (“Shaft”) will be 9506.99.6080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics, athletics, other sportsOtherOther.” The rate of duty will be 4 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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