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NY G86598

February 2, 2001

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 G86598


TARIFF NO.: 9506.62.4040

Bob Hoder
Rugby Imports, Ltd.
885 Warren Avenue
East Providence RI 02914

RE: The tariff classification of a rugby ball.

Dear Mr. Hoder:

This letter is in response to your request of November 17, 2000, concerning the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of an article you describe as a rugby football. A sample of the article in a deflated condition was submitted with your request.

You maintain that the sample rugby ball is representative of the specifications enumerated for rugby footballs contained in a publication you describe as the “rugby Law Book.” Those specifications are:

Shape: The ball must be oval and made of four panels Dimensions: length 280.300mm
Circumference (end to end) 760-790mm
Circumference (in width) 580-620mm
Materials: Leather or similar synthetic material

Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The systematic detail of the Harmonized System is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes.

Heading 9506, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, articles and equipment for athletics, sports and outdoor games. The articles and equipment provided for in the heading include, for example, skis, golf clubs, rackets, skates, exercise equipment and sport balls including footballs.

We do not believe the framers of the tariff nomenclature intended to restrict the term “footballs” as used in heading 9506 to include only those balls designed for use in the game of American football. The term should embrace any play ball used in a sport identified as football by its governing body. The governing body for Rugby, the International Rugby Football Board, defines the game as meaning “rugby football played in accordance with the Laws of the Game.”

In addition, it was a uniform and established practice under the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), the predecessor of the Harmonized Tariff System, to classify a rugby ball in the provision for footballs in item 734.70, TSUS, based on the common and commercial definition of Rugby.

Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the rugby ball will be 9506.62.4040, HTSUSA, the provision for articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics, athletics, other sports or outdoor games, balls, other than golf balls and table-tennis balls: inflatable balls: footballs and soccer balls...footballs. The rate of duty will be free.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 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
National Commodity

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