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NY N010629

May 10, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 9506.59.8060

Sophia Spoltore
Milgram Freight Services Limited
407 McGill Street, Suite 500
Montreal Canada H2Y 2G7

RE: The tariff classification of a street tennis kit from Canada.

Dear Ms. Spoltore:

In your letter dated April 25, 2007, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise, identified as a “Street Tennis Kit,” consists of a net complete with posts and hardware, two rackets, two soft foam balls, chalk and a kit bag to house and carry the game components. The zippered bag is made of a durable, textile material with the phrase “street tennis” and “tennis de rue” marked on the bag surface.

Merchandise imported into the United States is classified under the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States Annotated (HTSUS). Tariff classification is governed by the principles set forth in the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) of the HTSUS. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRIs taken in order.

The merchandise at issue is a street tennis set, which contains various components. Because there is no specific provision in the HTSUS covering “street tennis sets,” the question of whether the merchandise should be considered a set for tariff purposes arises.

The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUS constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b) provide further guidance in determining what constitutes a “set.” The relevant note states, in pertinent part:

(X) For the purposes of this Rule, the term “goods put up in sets for retail sale” shall be taken to mean goods which:
consist of at least two different articles that are, prima facie, classifiable in two or more headings; consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

In this case, it is our view that the above “set” criteria are met. First, the subject merchandise consists of at least two different articles which are prima facie classifiable in different (sub)headings, i.e. the rackets are classifiable in heading 9506, more specifically in subheading 9506.59.80; the foam balls in 9506.69; the net and mounting hardware in 9506.99; and, the carry bag is classified in subheading 4202.92. Secondly, it appears from the information supplied that in their condition as imported, the items are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to consumers without repacking. The third criterion, that the goods consist of articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity, is also satisfied. Therefore, the subject merchandise qualifies for treatment as a “set.”

Because the street tennis kit is a set for tariff purposes, and the headings under which the items could be classified refer to only part of the items in the set, we turn to GRI 3(b) of the HTSUS to classify the merchandise. This provides that the subject street tennis set is classified by the one item that gives the set its essential character. In other words, when presented put up together for retail sale, each component of the set, including that set’s textile carrying bag, will be dutiable at the rate accorded to the component of the set that imparts the essential character to the set.

“Essential character” is the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish what an article, or set, is. Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) explains that essential character may 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 article. In considering all these factors, along with the cost information you have supplied, we have concluded that the rackets provide the set with its essential character. Therefore, the “Street Tennis” set is classifiable under heading 9506, HTSUS.

The applicable subheading for the “Street Tennis Kit” will be 9506.59.8060, HTSUS, the provision for articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics, athletics, other sports or outdoor gamestennis, badminton or similar rackets, whether or not strung; parts and accessories thereof: other: other, other, including parts and accessories. The rate of duty will be 4 percent ad valorem.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

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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