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NY I88478

November 26, 2002

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 I88478


TARIFF NO.: 9506.99.2000

Pamela Pinter
Big Apple Customs Brokers, Inc.
151-02 132nd Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11434

RE: The tariff classification of a Soccer Goal Set from China.

Dear Ms. Pinter:

In your letter dated November 6, 2002 and received in this office on November 20, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Regent Sports Corp.

The product, described as “2 Goal Set Competition Soccer,” consists of two 54” x 36” sport goal cages with netting, a #3 regulation 32 panel soccer ball, and four disc style marker cones. The set is designed for backyard practice, one on one competition and small side game play. The sample set is packaged in a color box that we assume indicates the set’s condition as imported and retailed in the United States. The sample will be returned at your request.

Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) taken in order. GRI 1 of the HTSUS provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs are applied, taken in order.

In considering the tariff classification of the soccer goal set with its various components, we note that no one heading in the HTSUS fully and accurately describes the set. Therefore, the set cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1. Since the set is made up of two or more components that if imported separately would be classified under different headings or subheadings in the tariff schedule, we must refer to GRI 3 to classify the soccer goal set. In this regard, we note that the individual components making up the soccer goal set may be prima facie classifiable as follows: the regulation soccer ball in subheading 9506.62.40 which provides for inflatable footballs and soccer balls, and the goals and the marker cones in subheading 9506.99.20 which provides for football, soccer and polo articles and equipment, except balls, and parts and accessories thereof.

GRI 3(a) of the HTSUS provides that a set such as the instant set is to be classified in the
heading that provides the most specific description. Since the description of the various components is equally specific the set cannot be classified under GRI 3(a). Accordingly, we must next consider the classification of the soccer goal set under GRI 3(b) which covers, among other things, goods put up in sets for retail sale.

Explanatory Note X to GRI 3(b) provides that merchandise is a “set put up for retail sale” if it is composed of: (a) at least two different items classifiable in different headings (or subheadings); (b) it consist of items put up together to meet a particular need; and, (c) it is put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users, without re-packing, in a retail package. Goods classifiable under GRI 3(b) are classified as if they consisted of the component that gives them their essential character, which may be determined by the nature of the component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the article.

In consideration of all these factors we have concluded that there is no one component that imparts the essential character to the soccer goal set. The soccer ball and the equipment packaged with the ball each play more or less equal and necessary roles in the performance of the set’s intent and are equally essential to the function for which the set was designed. Accordingly, we must refer to GRI 3(c) which provides that when a good cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a) or (b), it is classified in the heading or subheading which occurs last in numerical order among those components of the good which equally merit consideration in determining their classification.

Accordingly, by virtue of GRI 3(c), the soccer goal set would be classified in the subheading that occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration, leading us to subheading 9506.99.20, HTSUS, which provides for soccer equipment.

The applicable subheading for the “2 Goal Set Competition Soccer” Set will be 9506.99.2000, HTSUS, which provides for “Articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics, athletics, other sports or outdoor gamesother: football, soccer and polo articles and equipment, except balls, and parts and accessories thereof.” The rate of duty will be free.

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 Tom McKenna at 646-733-3025.


Robert B. Swierupski

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