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NY N016953

September 21, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 9401.80.4045

Steve Nowick
Customs Compliance Specialist
Panalpina Inc.
800 Devon Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

RE: The tariff classification of a child bicycle seat from China.

Dear Mr. Nowick:

In your letter dated September 4, 2007 on behalf of Bell Sports, you requested a tariff classification ruling. The sample which you submitted is being returned as requested.

Item number 2000724 Co-Pilot Baby Seat is a child seat designed to be attached to the rear of a bicycle. The seat is composed of plastic which is covered with textile padding for comfort. A metal rack and hardware are included to be used in bolting the seat onto the rear of a bicycle. All parts of the car seat will be produced in Taiwan and China. The parts will be shipped to the manufacturer’s premises where they will be assembled and made ready for retail sale.

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 and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's]." In other words, classification is governed first by the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes. Inasmuch as the car seat is a composite good [plastic, textile] its classification is governed by GRI 3(b), HTSUS, which reads as follows:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

In general, essential character has been construed to mean the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish what an article is that which is indispensable to the structure, core, or condition of the article.

EN VIII to GRI 3(b), at page 4, provides further factors which help determine the essential character of goods. It reads, as follows:

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

You have provided additional information about the product including a value breakdown and a component material breakdown by weight. These breakdowns show that the value and the weight of the plastic component far exceed the value and weight of textile. Further, it is our observation that the plastic component plays a more important role in the use of the product than the textile. Consequently, it is our opinion that plastic imparts the essential character to the car seat.

The applicable subheading for the bicycle seat will be 9401.80.4045, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Seats (other than those of heading 9402) whether or not convertible into beds, and parts thereof: Other seats: Other: Other.” The rate of duty will be free.

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 Lawrence Mushinske at 646-733-3036.


Robert B. Swierupski

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