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NY M81736

April 4, 2006

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 M81736


TARIFF NO.: 9507.30.4000

Daniel Meylor
Carmichael International Service
533 Glendale Boulevard
Los Angeles CA 90026-5097

RE: The tariff classification of a fishing combo kit from China and Malaysia.

Dear Mr. Meylor:

In your letter dated March 20, 2006, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Shimano American Corporation.

The merchandise is described in your letter as a “fishing combo” set and consists of a fishing rod made in China, a fishing reel made in Malaysia and a package of tackle accessory equipment made in China. You state that the reel will be shipped from Malaysia to China and assembled onto the fishing rod. The tackle package will be attached by plastic strip to the rod and all the components will be packaged for retail sale with instructions and marketing flyers wrapped and stapled to the product.

Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the heading or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6. GRI 3(b) states, in part, that goods put up in sets for retail sale (“sets”) shall be classified as if consisting of the component that gives them their essential character.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and thus are useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System.

To qualify as a set for tariff purposes, relevant ENs for GRI 3(b) list three requirements: (1) there must be at least two articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings (or subheadings); (2) the components must be put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and, (3) the components must be put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards).

Customs is of the opinion that the subject fishing combination article, model PIX4RFX66M2PTK, is, in fact, a set for tariff purposes. The individual components of the kit are, prima facie, classifiable in different subheadings of the HTSUS, as indicated below. All of the components are used in the sport activity of fishing. Furthermore, the components will be packaged for retail sale prior to entry into the U.S. with no need for repacking. Hence, the combination kit does constitute goods put up in sets for retail sale for purposes of GRI 3(b), HTSUS.

Further, GRI 3(b) states that goods put up in sets for retail sale shall be classified according to that component which gives them their essential character. The Explanatory Notes for GRI 3(b) state that:

The factor that determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

In the case of the instant fishing combo set, no one particular component stands out. No single component is of such distinctive nature, quantity, or value as to impart to the kit its essential character. Nor does any component play such a role in relation to the use of the good as to be determinative of essential character. Inasmuch as no essential character can be determined, GRI 3(b) does not apply.

GRI 3(c) says that if neither GRI 3(a) nor GRI 3(b) applies merchandise shall be classified in the heading that occurs last in numerical order among those equally meriting consideration. In doing this, GRI 3(c) directs us to consider which articles in the set merit consideration in determining the relevant classification subheading. While we have determined that no one item gives this set its essential character, we find that not all of the component articles equally merit consideration in the classification determination. The kit is marketed as a rod and reel combination. While the rod, prima facie classified in subheading 9507.10.00, HTSUS, is valued at $2.04 and the reel, prima facie classified in subheading 9507.30.40, HTSUS, is valued at $4.09, the tackle accessory package, prima facie classified in subheading 9507.90.80, HTSUS, has a value of just $0.25. In other words, it is ancillary in function to the kit and de minimis in value.

Rather, the fishing rod and fishing reel are each essential to the performance of the combination kit. Hence, by application of GRI 3(c) the instant set is classified in subheading 9507.30.40, HTSUS, the subheading that occurs last in numerical order among those provisions that merit consideration.

The applicable subheading for the fishing combo kit, model No. PIX4RFX66M2PTK, will be 9507.30.4000, HTSUS, which provides for “Fishing rods, fish hooks and other line fishing tackleFishing reels and parts and accessories thereof: Fishing reels: Valued over $2.70 but not over $8.45 each.” The rate of duty will be $0.24 cents each component.

The proper subheading given above is based on the cost of the reel component in the subject kit. The column 1 general rate of duty is applied to both the rod and reel units in the combination because each of the components within the GRI 3(c) set are treated for classification purposes as if they are reels. Thus, one imported combination kit model No. PIX4RFX66M2PTK, consisting of a rod and reel would, under these circumstances, be assessed $0.48 cents total duty.

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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