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HQ 966766

January 6, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 966766 RSD


TARIFF Nos. 8714.99.80

Robert A. Calandra, Esq.
4 Henning Drive
Fairfield, New Jersey 07004

RE: Classification of “Co-Pilot” Junior Tandem Trailer Cycle

Dear Mr. Calandra:

This is in response to your letter dated September 11, 2003, on behalf of Kent International, Inc., requesting a ruling regarding the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) of the “Co-Pilot” Junior Tandem Trailer Cycle. The National Commodity Specialist Division forwarded your letter to this office to rule on this matter.


The subject merchandise is called a “Co-Pilot” Junior Tandem Trailer Cycle (Co-Pilot). You describe the merchandise as a one-wheeled trailer cycle that is designed for children between the ages of 4 to 10 years with a weight under 100 pounds. The Co-Pilot is similar to a standard child’s 20-inch bicycle but with an important exception. It does not have a front wheel. The Co-Pilot is designed to mount onto the seat post of an adult’s bicycle, so that a child can accompany an adult on a bicycle ride. The Co-Pilot has handlebars, a seat, and pedals. The 20-inch wheel allows the child to coast or pedal. We note from the submitted photograph of the Co-Pilot that it has a driveline. This means that the Co-Pilot has a front sprocket attached to a pedal crank, a back sprocket attached to the wheel and a chain that fits around both the front and back sprockets.

You have submitted a report from a professional engineer, who was hired as a consultant. The engineer explains that the Co-Pilot is built without braking capability and with a fixed gear ratio. Accordingly, no retarding of the motion of the combination is possible with any feature built into the Co-Pilot. It coasts because it is equipped with a free wheel. By taking notice of cadence (the rotational speed of the riders’ feet), the engineer comes to the opinion that “the rider of the Kent Co-Pilot is uninvolved in propelling or retarding the motion of the bicycle/trailer combination. Rather, the pedaling activity by the child-rider offers a ‘bicycling-like’ experience and training in the cycling motion required for transition to a conventional bicycle.”


Whether the “Co-Pilot” Junior Tandem Trailer Cycle is classified as a non-mechanically propelled trailer in heading 8716, HTSUS, or as a bicycle accessory in heading 8714, HTSUS.


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods 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 GRIs may then be applied.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN’s) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the EN’s provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the system. Customs believes the EN’s should always be consulted. See T.D. 8980, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Parts and accessories of vehicles of heading 8711 to 8713:




Trailers and semi-trailers; other vehicles, not mechanically propelled; and parts thereof: 8716.40.00 Other trailers and semi-trailers.

EN 87.14 provides that:

This heading covers parts and accessories of a kind used with motorcycles (including mopeds), cycles fitted with an auxiliary motor, side-cars, non-motorised cycles, or carriages for disabled persons, 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; and

(ii) They must not be excluded by the provisions of the Notes to Section XVII (see the corresponding General Explanatory Note).

EN 87.16 provides that:

This heading covers a group of non-mechanically propelled vehicles (other than those of the preceding headings) equipped with one or more wheels and constructed for the transport of goods or persons. It also includes non-mechanical vehicles not fitted with wheels (e.g., sledges, special sleds running on timber trackways).

The vehicles of this heading are designed to be towed by other vehicles (tractors, lorries, trucks motorcycles, bicycles, etc.), to be pushed or pulled by hand or to be drawn by animals.

The heading includes:

(A) Trailers and semi-trailers.

For the purposes of this heading, the terms “trailers” and “semi-trailers“ means vehicles (other than side-cars) of a kind designed solely to be coupled to another vehicle by means of a special coupling device (whether or not automatic).

Based on the language of the EN’s, in order to be classified as a trailer in heading 8716, HTSUS, the object must be designed to be towed by other vehicles, to be pushed or pulled by hand or drawn by animals. If a vehicle has the capability of mechanical propulsion then it is precluded from being a trailer which would be classified in heading 8716, HTSUS.

In NY F88872 dated July 17, 2000, Customs ruled that a carrier that could be attached to a bicycle or converted to a stroller and pushed while walking was classified in subheading 8716.40.00, HTSUS, as a trailer. In another ruling, NY G88328 dated March 14, 2001, Customs considered the classification of two items that were attached to a bicycle. The first item was a carrier that could be attached to a bicycle or converted to a stroller for pushing or pulling while walking/jogging. The product had two wheels attached to a metal frame with a hitch that was designed to fit most bicycles. The second item was known as the “Voyage II Children Bicycle Trailer.” It could hold up to two children and it had a hitch designed to fit most bicycles. Custom classified both of these products as trailers in subheading 8716.40.00, HTSUS. In both NY F88872 and NY G88328, it appears that these products were designed for a bicycle to pull them and that they had no capability to propel themselves or assist in propelling the attached bicycles.

In another case, NY A83493 dated May 28, 1996, Customs considered an item called “The Follower” consisting of two attachable steel bars, two pedals, a chain-driven 20 inch wheel, a bicycle seat and a tall flag attached to the axle of the wheel. The stated function of the item was to attach it to the rear of a regular bicycle allowing a child to accompany a rider on a bicycle ride. Customs held that “The Follower” was classified in subheading 8714.99.80, HTSUS, as parts and accessories of bicycles.

It appears that in NY F88872, and NY G88328, the items being classified had no capability of mechanical propulsion. The carriers were designed to be pulled by a bicycle and they were not capable of assisting in the propulsion of the attached bicycle. On the other hand, in NY A83493, the fact that the product had pedals and a chain-driven 20-inch wheel indicated that it had at least some capability to assist in propelling the bicycle to which it was attached. Thus, in the present case, the determination as to whether the Co-Pilot should be classified in heading 8714, HTSUS as a bicycle accessory or as a trailer in heading 8716 HTSUS, depends upon whether it has any mechanical capability to propel itself, or to assist in propelling the adult bicycle to which it is attached. If it has any capability to propel the attached adult bicycle, no matter how minimal, it is not classified as a trailer in heading 8716, HTSUS.

You contend that the Co-Pilot does not contribute to the propulsion of the bicycle to which it is attached. To support this position you rely on the opinion of a professional engineer. The engineer indicated that with the bicycle/trailer at rest, the anticipated child-rider simply cannot exert sufficient force on the pedals to initiate motion on the bicycle and trailer due to the 200 plus pound weight of the combined vehicle and riders. The engineer continues to explain that with adult pedaling at any reasonable rate of speed, the child-rider cannot add propulsion due to the excessively high rate of pedal rotation required to attain the speed generated by the adult. Thus the engineer opines that the rider of the Co-Pilot is uninvolved in propelling or retarding the motion of the bicycle /trailer combination.

We have consulted with Office of Laboratory and Scientific Services for an analysis of the engineering report. The Office of Laboratory and Scientific Services noted that the Co-Pilot has a driveline, consisting of pedals, a pedal crank, front and back sprockets, and a chain connecting these sprockets. This means that pedaling the Co-Pilot turns a crank and sprockets to move the chain that in turn moves the rear wheel. Based on this design, the Office of Laboratory and Scientific Services believes that the Co-Pilot does have the potential of helping to propel the attached adult bicycle forward. They acknowledge that when the Co-Pilot is pedaled, the attached adult bicycle would probably be propelled forward by a very small amount. Although the propelling motion from the Co-Pilot may be small, nevertheless when the Co-Pilot is pedaled, some propulsion would be generated. The Office of Laboratory and Scientific Services points out that if a child’s pedaling had no impact on propelling the bicycle forward there would be no resistance or “push back” on the pedals creating a sensation similar to pedaling against a spinning free-wheel. Such pedaling would require a constant effort to rotate the pedals that would quickly exhaust a small child.

We also reviewed several web sites regarding products that are almost identical to the Co-Pilot. One web site, www.ConsumerGuide.com reviewing “Tag-a-longs/Trailercycles, states:

Trailercycles provide a great way to allow families to share the fun of bike riding without putting pressure on little ones to pedal constantly and keep up. While a child on a trailercycle can contribute to the pedaling effort, he or she can also rest and rely on the adult in front for forward propulsion—a good workout for Mom or Dad.

Another web site, www.Allwebscooters.com, explains that:

Trail A Bike is the exciting new product that turns your bicycle into a child-friendly tandem (a bicycle built for two). This unique bicycle attachment allows you to safely share the excitement of cycling with your children, aged two to ten years. Unlike trailers, it allows your child to participate in the ride. Your child can pedal along at their own pace or simply coast and enjoy the scenery. By staying close to you, your child will safely gain confidence and learn the correct rules of the road. (Emphasis added.)

A company that sells a product that resembles the Co-Pilot, “Adams Trail A Bike,” quotes a user of its product on its web site as stating the following:

I have used a trailer to pull my son around since he was 6 months old. As he grew heavier and older it was getting harder to pull him. He started to feel like he was missing out because he was just sitting there as I did all the work.

Introducing the Adam Trail-A-Bike. It is amazing how I could feel the difference when we climbed up the hills with him actually pedaling. I would look back to see a grin on his face as we struggled up the hill. (Emphasis added.)

To summarize, the information contained in these web sites indicates that for trail-a-bikes similar to the Co-Pilot, pedaling does contribute to the propulsion of the attached bicycle.

In reviewing the information presented, including the engineering study, we are not persuaded that pedaling the Co-Pilot will not produce any propulsion. We do not believe that all children up to age ten and up to 100 pounds will be unable to generate enough pedaling rotational speed so that they cannot add any propulsion to the Co-Pilot and the attached adult bicycle. We acknowledge that the amount of propulsion that a child may generate will be probably very small or even minimal. Nevertheless, we believe that the Co-Pilot will still have the potential of generating some propulsion for the attached bicycle. The fact that the Co-Pilot pedals are connected to the back wheel by a bicycle chain attached to a rear sprocket indicates that it has potential to produce some propulsion to drive the adult bike forward. We believe that if the manufacturer wanted to create a product without any propulsion capability, it would not have connected the pedals to the rear wheel with a bicycle chain around a sprocket that could turn the wheel. Thus, we conclude that the Co-Pilot has propulsion capability.

Because we find that the Co-Pilot has propulsion capability, it is not classified as a trailer in heading 8716, HTSUS. Therefore, we find that the Co-Pilot is described in heading 8714. It is classified is subheading 8714.99.80, HTSUS, “Parts and accessories of vehicles of heading 8711 to 8713: Other: Other: Other.”


The Kent Co-Pilot Junior Tandem Trailer Cycle is classified in subheading 8714.99.80, HTSUS as: “Parts and accessories of vehicles of heading 8711 to 8713: Other: Other: Other.”


Myles B. Harmon,
Director, Commercial Rulings Division

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