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HQ 966352

June 16, 2003

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 966352 RH


TARIFF NO.: 6603.90.8000

Ms. Laurie J. Showers
Grossfillex, Inc.
1575 Joel Drive
Lebanon, PA 17046-8376

RE: Modification of NY G85932, dated January 11, 2001; Classification of an umbrella base composed of cement and a plastic umbrella base ring; Parts and Accessories; Heading 6810; Heading 3926; Heading 6603; Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c), HTSUS

Dear Ms. Showers:

On January 11, 2001, Customs (now Customs and Border Protection (CBP)) issued New York Ruling Letter (NY) G85932 to you concerning the classification of an umbrella base and umbrella base ring, among other articles.


The umbrella base is composed of cement and the umbrella base ring is plastic. In NY G85932, CBP classified the umbrella base under subheading 6810.99.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as an other article of cement. CBP classified the plastic umbrella base under subheading 3926.90.9880, HTSUS, as an other article of plastic.

For the reasons set forth below, we find that NY G85932 was incorrect and that the proper classification of the cement umbrella base and the plastic umbrella base ring is under subheading 6603.90.8000, HTSUS, as accessories to an umbrella.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186

(1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY G85932 was published on April 30, 2003, in Vol. 37, No. 18 of the customs bulletin. CBP received no comments.


Is the cement umbrella base classified under heading 6810, HTSUS, as an article of cement or under heading 6603, HTSUS, as “parts, trimmings and accessories” of umbrellas?

Is the plastic umbrella base ring classified under heading 3926, HTSUS, as an article of plastic or under heading 6603, HTSUS, as “parts, trimmings and accessories” of umbrellas?


Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's taken in order.

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

Heading 6810, HTSUS, provides for “Articles of cement, of concrete or of artificial stone, whether or not reinforced.” Heading 3926, HTSUS, provides for “Other articles of plastics and articles of the materials of headings 3901 to 3914.” Heading 6603, HTSUS, provides for “Parts, trimmings and accessories of articles of heading 6601 or 6602.” Heading 6601 encompasses umbrellas and sun umbrellas.

Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c), HTSUS, states that in the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires—
a provision for parts of an article covers products solely or principally used as a part of such articles but a provision for “parts” or “parts and accessories” shall not prevail over a specific provision for such part or accessory;

There is not a specific provision in the HTSUS for the umbrella base or umbrella base ring. Therefore, in accordance with Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c), HTSUS, if the articles are a part or accessory to an umbrella subheading 6603.90.8000, HTSUS, will prevail over subheadings 6810.99.0000 and 3926.90.9880, HTSUS, which are residual provisions for other articles of cement and other articles of plastics, respectively.

The term "accessory" is not defined in either the tariff schedule or the Explanatory Notes. An accessory is generally an article that is not necessary to enable the goods with which it is used to fulfill their intended function. An accessory must be identifiable as being intended solely or principally for use with a specific article. Accessories are of secondary or subordinate importance, not essential in and of themselves. They must, however, somehow contribute to the effectiveness of the principal article (e.g., facilitate the use or handling of the principal article, widen the range of its uses, or improve its operation.) See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 087704, dated September 27, 1990.

On the other hand, it is a well-established rule that a part of an article is something necessary to the completion of that article. It is an integral, constituent or component part without which the article to which it is to be joined could not function as such article. Clipper Belt Lacer Co., Inc. v. United States, 14 CIT 146 (1990). The definition of “parts” was discussed recently in Rollerblade, Inc. v. United States, 283 F.3d 1349 (Fed. Cir. 2002). In that case, the court defined parts as “an essential element or constituent; integral portion which can be separated, replaced, etc.” Id. at 1353 (citing Webster’s New World Dictionary 984 (3d College Ed. 1988)). See HQ 966133, dated March 11, 2003.

Note 2 to Chapter 66, HTSUS, reads:

Heading 6603 does not cover parts, trimmings or accessories of textile material, or covers, tassels, thongs, umbrella cases or the like, of any material. Such goods entered with, but not fitted to, articles of heading 6601 or 6602 are to be classified separately and are not to be treated as forming part of those articles.

In addition to the chapter note, the EN to heading 6603 provides guidance on the scope of heading 6603, HTSUS. The EN reads, in its entirety:

This heading excludes parts, trimmings and accessories, of textile material, and covers, tassels, thongs, umbrella cases and the like of any material; these are classified separately even when presented with, but not fitted to, umbrellas, sun umbrellas, walking-sticks, etc. (see Note 2 to this Chapter). With these exceptions, the heading covers identifiable parts, fittings and accessories for articles of heading 66.01 or 66.02.

These remain classified here regardless of their constituent material (including precious metal or metal clad with precious metal or natural, synthetic or reconstructed precious or semi-precious stones). They include:

Handles (including blanks identifiable as unfinished handles) and knobs for umbrellas, sun umbrellas, walking-sticks, whips, etc. Frames, including frames mounted on sticks, and ribs and stretchers for frames. Shafts (sticks), whether or not combined with handles or knobs, for umbrellas or sun umbrellas. Stocks for whips or riding-crops.
Runners, rib tips, open cups and tip cups, ferrules, springs, collars, tilting devices for adjusting the top of the umbrella at an angle to the mast, spikes, ground plates for seat-sticks and the like, etc.

While the umbrella base and umbrella base ring are not one of the exemplars listed in the EN, they are accessories to an umbrella. They aid in securing and holding the umbrella in place and clearly contribute to the effectiveness of the principal article.

Moreover, CBP’s classification of umbrella bases of various materials as accessories under heading 6603, HTSUS is consistent with prior rulings. See NY 950999, dated April 24, 1990 (a polyethylene umbrella base classifiable under subheading 6603.90.0009, HTSUS), NY 818590, dated February 26, 1996 (umbrella stands made of metal with a cement, pebble or terrazzo base classifiable under subheading 6603.90.8000, HTSUS), and NY C82792, dated January 7, 1998) (cast iron umbrella base classifiable under 6603.90.8000, HTSUS).

Accordingly, we find that the umbrella base and umbrella base ring are classifiable under subheading 6603.90.8000, HTSUS, as accessories to an umbrella.


NY G85932 is REVOKED.

The cement umbrella base and plastic umbrella base ring are classifiable under subheading 6603.90.8000, HTSUS, which provides for “Parts, trimmings and accessories of articles of heading 6601 or 6602: Other: Other.” They are dutiable at the general column one rate at 5.2 percent ad valorem.

In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the customs bulletin.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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