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NY F87913

June 9, 2000



TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.3020; 3926.90.9880

Mr. Tim Parsons
Parsons Trading
5 Thunderbird Drive
Novato, CA 94949

RE: The tariff classification of a backpack and hydration units from China.

Dear Mr. Parsons:

In your letter dated May 30th, 2000 you requested a classification ruling.

The samples submitted are identified as #BB004152, "version 3"; #BB004158, "version 6"; and #BB004160, "version 7". Each item contains a hydration unit to provide hands free access to portable liquid while engaging in physical activity such as biking, hiking, or climbing. Each unit consists of a bladder to contain and dispense liquids, called a “HydraSak,” in a backpack style carrier, called a “HydraPak.” The carriers have an outer surface of textile fabric of man-made fibers, incorporate foam padding for cushioning and insulation, and conform basically to the size and shape of the bladders they are designed to contain. The carriers have adjustable shoulder straps and a waist belt with a tuck lock closure that enable the user to wear the carriers around one's waist. The bladders have capacities of 100 fluid ounces. A plastic tube measuring approximately 36 inches in length extends from the bottom of each bladder, out through the side of the carrier, to a point where it is close to the user’s mouth. The user may bite down on the valve at the end of the tube to obtain fluid without ceasing the physical activity.

Style #BB004152, "version 3" measures approximately 20" in height by 8" in width. The interior compartment is located in front of the bladder and encompasses the entire length and width of the carrier, thereby significantly contributing to the carrying capacity of the unit. The interior compartment consists of a single compartment with no additional features and is accessible by means of a zippered opening on the side. This compartment is expandable by means of a zipper that extends from the top of one side, across the bottom, to the top of the other side. The front exterior of the carrier has two small zippered pockets and an open mesh pocket that measures 9 3/4" x 2 3/4". Since the carrying capacity of the backpack encompasses the entire width and length of the bag, the essential character of version 3 is imparted by the backpack rather than the bladder.

The carriers identified as version 6, article # BB004158, and version 7, article # BB004160, measure approximately18 inches in height by 10 inches in width. The carriers identified as version 6 and version 7 feature external pockets in addition to the central compartment which holds the bladder. However, the pockets are relatively small and flat and do not significantly expand the capacity of the HydraPaks for carrying other items in addition to the fluid bladder. The bladder is made from two panels heat sealed together on three sides. One panel is made from a layer of noncellular transparent plastic sheeting laminated to a layer of woven man-made textile fabric. The other panel is made from transparent plastic sheeting. The top of the bladder, which is also made of transparent plastic sheeting, opens to allow filling, and folds over and seals closed with “Velcro” type hook and loop fastener tape. A plastic fitting attaches the plastic tubing to the bladder. The essential character of the bladder is imparted by the plastic components. The essence of these two hydration units is their ability to store and efficiently provide liquid nourishment or refreshment. Therefore, the essential character of versions 6 and 7 is imparted by the bladder rather than by the backpack type carrier.

The applicable subheading for the hydration carriers, version 6, #BB0041586, and version 7, #BB004160, which contain bladders made essentially of plastic components, will be 3926.90.9880, Harmonized Tar iff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other articles of plastics, other. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for version 3, #BB004152, will be 4202.92.3020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for travel, sports, and similar bagsof man-made fibers, backpacks. The duty rate will be 18.6% ad valorem.

Items classifiable under HTS subheading 4202.92.3020 fall within textile category designation 670. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of China are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

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 shipment.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

Your samples are being returned as requested.

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 Kevin Gorman at 212-637-7091.


Robert B. Swierupski

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