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NY J82287

April 2, 2003

CLA-2-42:RR:NC:3:341 J82287


TARIFF NO.: 4202.12.2020

Gary A. Ryan
C/o Airport Brokers Corporation
P.O. Box 68668
Seattle, WA 98148

RE: The tariff classification of a roof top carriers from Estonia

Dear Mr. Ryan:

In your letter dated February 24th, 2003 you requested a tariff classification ruling. The ruling request is on behalf of Packline USA Inc.

The items in question, identified as Model #’s P60, P90, P102, and P115, are trunks designed to be carried on the roof of an automobile vehicle. The items are clamshell design and made of fiberglass. The cases range from 24” to 45” in width. Each is 12” high and 87” in length. The cases are principally used to contain camping and hiking equipment, skis, golf clubs, tools, and other miscellaneous luggage or personal property during travel.

You state that the cases are an accessory to a motor vehicle and classified within Subheading 8708.29, Harmonized Tariff System of the United States, Annotated (HTSUSA) which provides for :

Parts and Accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705 Other parts and accessories of bodies (including cabs) Other

The General Rules of Interpretation (“GRIs”) governs classification of goods under the HTSUSA. GRI 1 provides that classification 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 Harmonized System at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

General Note III to Section XVII of the Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA provides:

It should, however, be noted that these headings [of Section XVII] apply only to those parts or accessories that comply with all three of the following conditions :

(a) They must not be excluded by the terms of Note 2 to this Section (see paragraph (A)below)and
(b) They must be suitable for use solely or principally with the articles of Chapters 86 to 88 (see paragraph (B) below). and (c) They must not be more specifically included elsewhere in the Nomenclature (see paragraph (C) below).

Paragraph C to this General Section Note further states:

Parts and accessories, even if identifiable as for the articles of this Section, are excluded if another covers them more specifically Heading else where in the nomenclature
. :

(4)Tool bags of leather or of composition leather, of vulcanized fiber, etc. (heading 42.02).

The E.N. for heading 8708 state in pertinent part:

This heading covers parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705, provided the parts and accessories fulfil both the following conditions:

(i) They must be identifiable as being suitable for use solely or principally with the above mentioned vehicles. ii) The provisions of the Notes to Section must not exclude them XVII

However, the term "accessory" is not defined in either the tariff schedule or the ENs. In Headquarters Ruling Letter ("HQ") 950525, dated February 7, 1992 Customs stated:

A part is generally an article which is an integral, constituent or component part, without which the article to which it is joined could not function. An accessory is generally a nonessential but useful item that has a supplementary function to that of the larger article to which the accessory is attached. 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. In addition, they generally 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.)

The roof top carrier is not an integral, constituent or component part of the vehicle. The carrier is not a necessary part without which the vehicle cannot function. The carrier is also not an accessory for the vehicle. It does not contribute to the effectiveness of the principle article (e.g., facilitate the use or handling of the vehicle, widen the range of its uses, or improves its operation ) Heading 4202, HTSUSA, eo nomine provides for trunks and suitcases as well as similar articles. Heading 4202, HTSUSA is a more specific provision within which the rooftop trunk is classifiable. It is of a kind excluded from classification within heading 8708, HTSUSA.

The applicable subheading for the roof top carrier will be 4202.12.2020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides, in part, for trunks and similar containers, structured, rigid on all sides, with outer surface of plastics. The rate of duty will be 20 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 Kevin Gorman at 646-733-3041.


Robert B. Swierupski

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