United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2002 HQ Rulings > HQ 963250 - HQ 963596 > HQ 963548

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 963548

July 29, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 963548 RH


TARIFF NOS.: 4202.92.4500; 8712.00.1020

Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
300 South Ferry Street
Terminal Island, California 90731

RE: Request for Internal Advice 20/99; 19 CFR §177.11; Classification of Bicycles imported with Bicycle Bags; GRI 3(b); Sets; Subheading 4202.92.4500; Subheading 8712.00.1020; HQ 085595, dated January 26, 1990

Dear Sir:

This is in reply to your memorandum dated July 14, 1999, forwarding a request for internal advice submitted by the law firm of Lamb & Lerch, on behalf of Huffy Bicycle Company.


Huffy Bicycle Company imports children’s bicycles and their accessories, such as bicycle bags. The bicycle bags contain specially designed fasteners for attaching to the handlebars or beneath the seats of the bicycles.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 085595, dated January 26, 1990, Customs classified the same class or kind of merchandise as Huffy’s, holding that bicycles were classifiable under subheading 8712.00.1020 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), and bicycle bags were classifiable under subheading 4202.92.4500, HTSUS, as travel, sports and similar bags. Additionally, we held that the bicycles and bicycle bags did not constitute sets because they were “used for two distinct activities, bicycling and transporting articles.”

After consulting with the field import specialist in Los Angeles and the National Import Specialist, Huffy has entered its merchandise in accordance with HQ 085594. However, counsel argues that HQ 085595 is contradictory to another ruling issued to Gerry Baby Products (which at one time was related to Huffy Bicycle Company). In New York Ruling Letter (NY) B87967, dated August 25, 1997, Customs classified a stroller and nylon, mesh bag designed for attachment to the handles of the stroller as a set under subheading 8715.00.0020, the provision for baby carriages and parts thereof.


Are the bicycles and bicycle bags classifiable as sets under GRI 3(b), HTSUS? If not, how are the items separately classified?


Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRIs”). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied.

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System constitute the official interpretation of the nomenclature at the international level. While not legally binding, they do represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to consider, whenever possible, the terms of the EN when interpreting the HTSUS.

Counsel for the importer argues that there are two distinct legal reasons for “modifying” HQ 085595 and holding that bicycles imported with bicycle bags specially designed to be affixed to a bicycle’s handlebar or beneath the bicycle’s seat constitute goods put up in sets for retail sale.

First, counsel argues that the EN support a finding that bicycles imported with bicycle bags are put up in sets for retail sale. The EN state in Note X to GRI 3(b) that the term “goods put up in sets for retail sale” means goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

Counsel argues that HQ 085595 failed to recognize that “there is a natural linkage between a bicycle and a bicycle bag, namely, the ability to transport, move or carry people and things from one place to another” and that the “placement of a bag on a bicycle handlebar aids in this activity.”

Secondly, counsel contends that post-1990 Customs rulings support the finding that bicycles imported with bicycle bags are put up in sets for retail sale, citing: HQ 960228, dated March 17, 1998 (eyeglass repair kit), HQ 960587, dated June 23, 1998 (basket with six gardening tools), HQ 960653, dated July 1, 1998 (nine piece buffet cake set), 960891, dated July 27, 1998 (silver plated metal rack with glass mugs), HQ 961039, dated July 1, 1998 (buffet salad set) and the example listed in the EN for a hairdressing set.

The rulings and example cited by counsel are not persuasive because they involve merchandise which is not the same or substantially similar to a bicycle or an accessory to a bicycle. On the other hand, we identified three HQ rulings and one NY ruling that support the holding in HQ 085595 and involve similar merchandise.

In HQ 953992, dated June 28, 1993, Customs classified a detachable molded plastic cooler that fit over bicycle handlebars in heading 4202, HTSUS. Additionally, in HQ 960618, dated October 13, 1998, we classified a plastic plaited bicycle basket that attached to a bicycle with mounting bands under heading 4602, HTSUS. In HQ 964849, dated August 4, 2001, Customs classified an “Add a Rack” storage container that attached to the roof of a car under heading 4202, HTSUS. Finally, in NY H81161, dated May 15, 2001, a man-made textile accessory bag for a snowmobile was also classified in heading 4202, HTSUS.

In all four of the above rulings, Customs found that the items were accessories to some type of a vehicle (bicycle, snowmobile, and car). However, citing General Explanatory Note III(C), Section XVII, none of the items was classified in the
accessory provisions, but rather in the tariff provisions which more specifically described the merchandise. General Explanatory Note III to Section XVII provides, in pertinent part:

It should, however, be noted that these headings [of Section XVII] apply only to those parts or accessories that comply with all three of the following conditions:

(a)They must not be excluded by the terms of Note 2 to this Section (see paragraph (A) below).

(b) They must be suitable for use solely or principally with the articles of Chapters 86 to 88 (see paragraph (B) below).

(c)They must not be more specifically included elsewhere in the Nomenclature (see paragraph (C) below).

Paragraph C to this General Explanatory Note further states, in pertinent part:

Parts and accessories, even if identifiable as for the articles of this Section, are excluded if they are covered more specifically by another heading elsewhere in the Nomenclature, e.g.:

Bicycle or balloon nets (heading 56.08).

While we did not find a specific definition of a “bicycle net”, we believe it is an accessory akin to a bicycle basket or similar devise intended to hold or secure merchandise on a bicycle. Furthermore, we agree with the holding in HQ 085595 and the other rulings cited herein, that such articles are not “put up together [with a “vehicle”] to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity and do not constitute a set.” Accordingly, we find that the bicycles and bicycle bags were correctly classified in HQ 085595.


HQ 085595 is AFFIRMED. The bicycles and bicycle bags were correctly classified under subheadings 8712.00.1020, HTSUS, and 4202.92.4500, HTSUS, respectively.

Finally, please note that we are referring NY B87967 to the General Classification Branch for review and possible revocation. Our research reveals that it is inconsistent with NY A84064, dated June 12, 1996, in which Customs classified a detachable PVC basket for a stroller under subheading 3926.90.9890, HTSUS.

If you have any questions regarding this decision, please contact Rebecca Hollaway of my staff at (202) 572-8814.


Myles B. Harmon, Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: