Mr. Byron Brown
Freeport Center, Bldg D-11
Clearfield, UT 84404
RE: Modification of NY N246367; Tariff classification of a kayak from China
Dear Mr. Brown:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued Lifetime Products New York Ruling Letter (NY) N246367, dated October 25, 2013. NY N246367 pertains to the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTSUS) of a paddleboard and a kayak from China. We have since reviewed NY N246367 and find it to be in error with respect to the classification of the kayak, which is described in detail herein.
Pursuant to §625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(i)), as amended by §623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057), a notice proposing to modify NY N246367 was published on July 23, 2014, in Volume 48, Number 29, of the Customs Bulletin. No comments were received in response to this notice.
According to NY N246367, there were two items submitted to CBP for classification. Photographs and descriptive literature describe the products as follows: the “Lifetime Teton Paddleboard,” model 90467 and the “Lifetime Daylite Kayak,” model 90102. The kayak is a blow-molded kayak that can be seated upon by a user. It is made from high density polyethylene plastic (HDPE), its dimensions are 96” (L) x 20” (W) x 9” (H) and it weighs 38 pounds. The kayak is used for recreational purposes.
What is the proper classification of the subject kayak under the HTSUS.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). 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 2 through 6 may then be applied in order.
The HTSUS provisions under consideration in this case are as follows:
8903. Yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports; row boats and canoes:
8903.99 Other: Row boats and canoes which are not of a type designed to be principally used with motors or sails:
Because the instant classification dispute occurs beyond the four-digit heading level, GRI 6 is implicated. GRI 6 states:
For legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheading of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes, and mutatis mutandis, to the above rules, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. For the purposes of this rule, the relative section, chapter, and subchapter notes also apply, unless the context otherwise requires.
In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which constitute the official interpretation of the HTSUS at the international level, may be utilized. The ENs, although not dispositive or legally binding, provides a commentary on the scope of each heading, and is generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg 35127 (August 23, 1989).
The EN to heading 8903, HTSUS, states, in pertinent part, the following:
This heading includes…kayaks,…
CBP has previously addressed the issue of the proper classification of kayaks. In HQ 088499, dated April 19, 1991, Customs ruled that kayaks are described by the term “canoe” because both vessels are characterized by lightness, maneuverability, versatility, ease of repair, silent operation and relatively inexpensive cost, as well as being best known for their application in leisure activities such as touring and camping, or racing and for formal drills and stunts. Given their similarities, it is proper that kayaks are classified under the subheading for “canoes.” See HQ 088499, supra, where CBP cited The Encyclopedia Americana (1989), definition of kayak and canoe to determine that kayaks are properly classified as a “canoe.” See also HQ H950019, dated November 5, 1991, (affirming HQ H088499, classifying a kayak under subheading 8903.99.05, HTSUS).
There is no dispute that the products at issue here is a kayak. Therefore, the subject merchandise is properly classified under subheading 8903.99.05, HTSUS, which provides for, “Yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sport; row boats and canoes…Other: row boats and canoes which are not of a type designed to be principally used with motors or sails: Canoes.”
By application of GRI 1 and GRI 6, the subject kayak is provided for in heading 8903, HTSUS. It is specifically provided for under subheading 8903.99.05, HTSUS, which provides for, “Yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sports; row boats and canoes: Other: Row boats and canoes which are not of a type designed to be principally used with motors or sails: Canoes.” The column one, general rate of duty is free.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided at www.usitc.gov
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS
New York Ruling Letter N246367, dated October 25, 2013, is hereby MODIFIED.
In accordance with 19 U.S.C. § 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.
Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division