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HQ 966353

June 16, 2003

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 966353 RH


TARIFF NO.: 6603.90.8000

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

RE: Revocation of NY H80212, dated June 7, 2001; Classification of an umbrella base composed of plastic; Parts and Accessories; Heading 3924; Heading 6603; Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c), HTSUS

Dear Ms. Showers:

On June 7, 2001, Customs (now Customs and Border Protection (CBP)) issued New York Ruling Letter (NY) H80212 to you concerning the classification of an umbrella base composed of plastic. In that ruling, CBP classified the umbrella base under subheading 3924.90.5500 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as an other household article of plastics.

For the reasons set forth below, we find that NY H80212 was incorrect and that the proper classification of the plastic umbrella base is under subheading 6603.90.8000, HTSUS, as an accessory 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 H80212 was published on April 30, 2003, in Vol. 37, No. 18 of the customs bulletin. CBP received no comments.


A description of the merchandise in NY H80212 reads as follows:

The umbrella base is 100 percent resin and it is available in four colors. The umbrella base weighs 3.5 pounds. It will be sold primarily to retail stores for household patio and poolside use.


Is the plastic umbrella base classified under heading 3924, HTSUS, as a household article of plastics 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 3924, HTSUS, provides for “Tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics.” 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. Therefore, in accordance with Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c), HTSUS, if the article is a part or accessory to an umbrella subheading 6603.90.8000, HTSUS, will prevail over subheading 3924.90.5500, HTSUS, which is a residual provision for other household articles of plastics.

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 is not one of the exemplars listed in the EN, it is an accessory to an umbrella. It aids in securing and holding the umbrella in place and clearly contributes 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 is classifiable under subheading 6603.90.8000, HTSUS, as an accessory to an umbrella.


NY H80212 is REVOKED.

The plastic umbrella base is classifiable under subheading 6603.90.8000, HTSUS, which provides for “Parts, trimmings and accessories of articles of heading 6601 or 6602: Other: Other.” It is 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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