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HQ 963696

July 11, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 963696 SG


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9889

Mr. Tim Parsons
Parsons Trading
5 Thunderbird Drive
Novato, CA 94949-5883

RE: Revocation of New York Ruling Letter (NY) E89014, dated December 1, 1999; Gun Boot Skin: Other Made Up Article of Textiles; Storage Bag, Not Traveling Bag; Totes, Incorporated v. United States, 18 C.I.T. 919, 865 F. Supp. 867 (1994), aff’d, 69 F.3d 495 (Fed. Cir. 1995)

Dear Mr. Parsons:

This letter is in response to your letter dated December 27, 1999, in which you requested reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) E89014, issued on December 1, 1999, in which Customs classified a camouflage printed "gun boot skin" in subheading 4202.92.9026, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for “Trunks,..., gun cases, holsters and similar containers; traveling bags,, sportsbags, and similar containers: Other: With outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials: Other: Other, With outer surface of textile materials: Other: Of man- made fibers.” Your letter along with a sample was forwarded to this office for our reply. We have reviewed that ruling and have found it to be in error. Therefore, this ruling revokes NY E89014.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI, a notice was published on May 1, 2002, in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN, Volume 36, Number 18, proposing to revoke NY E89014, dated December 1, 1999, and to revoke any tariff treatment pertaining to the tariff classification of gun boot skins. No comments were received in response to this notice.


The merchandise at issue is described as a camouflage dressing for a Gun Boot that is permanently attached to an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV). The Gun Boot is used to hold a rifle/shotgun and is comprised of a hard plastic outer shell with a soft padded interior lining. The Gun Boot is opened by removing a pin directly behind the handle, and the whole "butt" portion comes off to reveal the stock of the rifle/shotgun. The Gun Boot Skin is comprised to two main pieces of textile material both shaped like a bag. One piece is approximately 40 inches long by 9 inches in width at its widest part (and 2 1/2 inches in width at its narrowest); it would be used to slide over the "muzzle" end of the boot. The second piece is approximately 16 inches long by 9 inches in width at its widest part and 7 inches in width at its narrowest part; it would slip over the wider "butt" end of the gun boot. The two pieces are secured together by hook and loop closures and have sewn-in slots that are specifically located at the attachment points of the gun boot to the ATV. The articles are composed of 100 percent stretch polyester lycra knit fabric. At the top inside of the bags, there are a number of strips of Velcro®. We are advised that these strips help to keep the "skin" located most effectively as camouflage. Each bag also contains a slit opening near the narrow end. We understand these slots are specifically located at attachment points of the Gun Boot to the ATV. The Gun Boot Skin is merely designed to camouflage the Gun Boot and is not intended as a container. It is claimed that the material is very thin, stretchy, and would neither provide protection to a gun against knocks, water, or dirt. Nor is it intended to carry either a gun or the case; there is no form or handle attached to the Gun Skin, as the material is too light and would rip if it were used to carry a gun.


Whether the merchandise is classified in heading 4202, HTSUS, as a traveling bag; in heading 8708, HTSUS, as a motor vehicle part or accessory; or in heading 6307, HTSUS, as an other made up textile article.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods 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, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

Heading 4202, HTSUS, provides for:

Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; traveling bags, insulated food or beverage bags, toiletry bags, knapsacks and backpacks, handbags, shopping bags, wallets, purses, map cases, cigarette cases, tobacco pouches, tool bags, sports bags, bottle cases, jewelry boxes, powder cases, cutlery cases and similar containers, of leather or of composition leather, of sheeting of plastics, of textile materials, of vulcanized fiber, or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper.

In order to warrant classification under heading 4202, HTSUSA, the gun boot skin must be found to share the fundamental characteristics attributable to containers of heading 4202, HTSUSA. In Totes, Incorporated v. United States, 18 C.I.T. 919, 865 F. Supp. 867 (1994), aff’d, 69 F.3d 495 (Fed. Cir. 1995), the Court of International Trade (CIT) examined the classification of automobile trunk organizers (described as bags or cases designed to store trunk necessities such as jumper cables, tire inflator, tools, antifreeze, oil, and other fluids, etc., in a neat and orderly manner) and the application of ejusdem generis, to determine whether the organizers were of the same class or kind of containers as the listed 4202 exemplars. The Court found significant disparity in the physical characteristics, purposes, and uses of the individual heading 4202 exemplars, but emphasized that the essential characteristics and purposes of all of the exemplars were to organize, store, protect and carry various items. The capability of the trunk organizers to carry - not to organize, store, and protect - was a central issue in the case. After having stipulated to the fact that the organizers had hefty web handles for easy carrying, the plaintiff subsequently attempted to minimize the organizers’ carrying capacity and function. The Court, however, rejected any requirement that the principal design feature of an article classified as a “similar container” under heading 4202 be portability or transportation of the contents.

Like the trunk organizers, the subject textile article is not designed for the transportation of contents. The CIT in Totes, recognized that portability is usually an incidental purpose of jewelry boxes and certain tool chests classifiable in heading 4202, HTSUS, but noted that those containers nevertheless retained their primary uses to organize, store and protect articles. However, unlike the trunk organizers - which featured internal movable dividers by which a variety of items could be compartmentalized - the subject gun boot skin shares none of the essential characteristics and purposes of articles of heading 4202, i.e., to organize, store, protect and carry various items. We find that the clear absence of the essential characteristics of heading 4202 exemplars provides no basis upon which to classify the gun boot skin as a “similar container.”

Among other goods, heading 8708, HTSUS, covers parts and accessories of motor vehicles. The EN to heading 8708 state that the heading covers parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705, provided that the parts and accessories fulfill both of the following conditions:

(i) They must be identifiable as being suitable for use solely or principally with the above-mentioned vehicles; and

(ii) They must not be excluded by the provisions of the Notes to Section XVII.

Textile articles used to camouflage gun boots on ATVs are not excluded by the provisions of the Notes to Section XVII. To determine whether the gun boot skin is suitable for use solely or principally with a motor vehicle so as to be classified as a part or accessory, we look to a discussion of the term “part” in United States v. Willoughby Camera Stores, Inc. (hereinafter Willoughby), 21 C.C.P.A. 322 (1933). The case involved the classification of an imported tripod which was not solely used with cameras and had various other purposes. The Customs Court stated that a part “is an integral, constituent, or component...without which the article to which it is to be joined, could not function as such article.” In United States v. Pompeo (hereinafter Pompeo), 43 C.C.P.A. 9 (1955), the issue was whether an imported supercharger was properly considered a part of an automobile. The Government had argued that, because an automobile was able to function with or without it, the supercharger was not a part. The Court disagreed, focusing on the nature of the supercharger, which was “dedicated irrevocably for use upon automobiles,” and held that the article was properly classified as a part of an automobile.

The article at issue here does not satisfy the requirements of a “part” under the standards of either Willoughby or Pompeo, or fulfill the conditions of the EN to heading 8708 for classification as a part or accessory. It is never “joined” to the ATV, is not actually used upon the automobile itself, and does not affect the vehicle’s function. Since the bag is used only on the gun boot, it cannot be found to be suitable for use solely or principally with the vehicle. The gun boot skin is therefore not classified as a part or accessory of a motor vehicle. (But see NY 873356, issued April 21, 1992, and NY 864763, issued July 8, 1991, in which an automobile trunk cover and an article specifically designed and fitted to cover the windows and roof of a Chevrolet Corvette automobile, respectively, were classified under heading 8708, HTSUS. Unlike the subject textile article, however, each of those items was intended for attachment directly to, and suitable for use solely or principally with, a motor vehicle.)

Heading 6307, HTSUS, covers other made up textile articles, including dress patterns. The EN to heading 6307 indicate that the heading covers made up articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically in other headings of Section XI or elsewhere in the Nomenclature. The EN indicate that the heading excludes travel goods (suit-cases, rucksacks, etc.), shopping-bags, toilet-cases, etc., and all similar containers of heading 4202. The EN also state, in pertinent part, that the heading includes loose covers for motor-cars, domestic laundry or shoe bags and similar articles. In light of this fact and the foregoing discussion, we find that the gun boot skin is classified in subheading 6307.90.9889, HTSUSA.


The Gun Boot Skin, a camouflage dressing for a gun boot permanently attached to an ATV is properly classified in subheading 6307.90.9889, HTSUSA, the provision for “Other made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other, Other: Other.” The general column one duty rate is 7 percent ad valorem.

NY E89014, issued on December 1, 1999, is hereby REVOKED. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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