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NY I86498

September 26, 2002

CLA-2-56:RR:NC:TA:350 I86498


TARIFF NO.: 5608.11.0010

Ms. Vicky L. Wojnar
Kay Diamond Ltd.
10813 N.W. 30th Street, Suite 107
Miami, FL 33172

RE: The tariff classification of a hand cast fishing or bait net, from Brazil.

Dear Ms.Wojnar:

In your letter dated September 20, 2002, on behalf of Calusa Trading Company, Fort Myers, Florida, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Your sample is being returned as requested.

The instant sample, as described in your correspondence, consists of a made-up fishing net (bait net). Specifically, the merchandise at issue consists of a fishing net, approximately six feet in diameter, when fully deployed, with an approximately 1/2" mesh size, and weighted with lead sinkers. The body of the net is made of an open mesh construction with knotted monofilament yarn of man-made fiber. There is a rather substantial, long braided cord affixed to one end to throw out, cast or drag the net. The subject net is commonly known as a cast net, used to catch bait such as minnows, etc.

Your contention that this net is properly classifiable in tariff subheading 9507.90.6000 which covers “Fish landing nets, butterfly nets and similar nets” is not correct.

Heading 5608, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, made up fishing nets and other made up nets, of textile materials. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff 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 follow, whenever possible, the terms of the Explanatory Notes when interpreting the HTSUSA. In that regard, the EN to this heading provides for:

(2) Made up fishing nets and other made-up nets, of textile materials.

Made up nets are nets, whether or not ready for use, made directly to shape or assembled from pieces of netting. The presence of handles, rings, weights, floats, cords or other accessories does not affect the classification of the goods of this group.

Made up nets of this heading are restricted to those nets not covered more specifically by other headings of the Nomenclature. The heading includes fishing nets....

The heading does not cover:

(c) Sports nets (e.g., goal nets and tennis nets), fish landing nets and other nets of Chapter 95.

Heading 9507, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, fish landing nets, butterfly nets and similar nets. The EN to this heading describes these nets as "usually consist[ing] of pocket-like nets of textile yarn or cord, mounted on a wire support and fixed to a handle." (emphasis added). Therefore, if we consider a net to be similar to the fish landing nets, classification in heading 9507 would be mandated. Yours, however, is not. It is designed to catch fish and not land them after they have already been caught. Further, your distinction between commercial and sports fishing has already been discussed in great detail in the citations that you already presented, and, are, therefore, not germane to the issue present here.

The applicable subheading for the net will be 5608.11.0010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for knotted netting of twine, cordage or rope; made up fishing nets and other made up nets, of textile materials, of man-made textile materials, made up fishing nets, hand-cast, string-drawn. The applicable rate of duty is 9.8 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 George Barth at 646-733-3044.


Robert B. Swierupski

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