CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 951877 ALS
Mr. Brent Reider
International Trade Group, Inc.
Postal Drawer 21877
Columbus, Ohio 43221
RE: Request for Reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL)
873140, dated April 21, 1992, Concerning the Classification
of an Electronic Gun Locker Manufactured in China
Dear Mr. Reider:
This is in reference to your request for reconsideration of
NYRL 873140 regarding an electronic gun locker.
The article under consideration is an electronic gun locker
which is made of molded high density polypropylene plastic. It
incorporates a mechanical locking device which is released and
locked electronically. The lid will not open unless the proper
access code is entered on the electronic keypad, and, within 2
seconds of entry of the code, the access hook is released. The
gun locker is designed to be mounted against a flat surface by
means of four utility screws which are provided. Inside the case
is a muzzle mount for the gun's barrel and a pinch retention device
for the trigger guard. The items are stated to hold a gun in a
holster-like position so that the gun can be quickly and easily
accessed. The locker is operated by four 1.5 volt batteries as a
main power supply and one 12 volt battery for memory back-up.
What is the proper classification of an electronic gun locker
manufactured in China?
- 2 -
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff
Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by
the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order.
GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in
accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section
and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the
heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining
GRI's are applied, taken in order.
In NYRL 873140 the electronic gun locker was classified in
subheading 3926.90.9090, HTSUSA, the provision for other articles
of plastic. The importer states that the article should be
classified in subheading 9305.10.8000, HTSUSA, the provision for
other parts and accessories of revolvers or pistols. The importer
notes that it received an advisory classification from Customs in
Cleveland, Ohio, indicating that the latter classification was
In order for the article to be classifiable as suggested by
the importer it would have to be a part or an accessory of
revolvers or pistols. Since the locker is obviously not a part of
a revolver or pistol, we considered whether it was an accessory to
those items. In making such determination we noted that the HTSUSA
does not contain a specific definition for such term.
In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087704, dated September
27, 1990, we noted the absence of such a definition. In
considering the matter in that ruling we reached the following
conclusion as to the meaning of the term "accessory" which we
believe may be properly used as guidance in this instant situation:
An accessory is generally an article which is not
necessary to enable the goods with which it is used to
fulfill their intended function. An accessory must be
identifiable as being intended solely or principally for
use with a specific article. Accessories are of
secondary or subordinate importance, not essential in
and of themselves. They must, however, somehow
contribute to the effectiveness of the principal article
(e.g., facilitate the use or handling of the principal
article, widen the range of its uses, or improve its
- 3 -
Based on the above standard we do not believe that the
electronic gun locker enhances the effectiveness of the gun stored
therein, facilitates its use or handling or widens the range of its
uses, or improves its operations. The locker is essentially a
security storage device for a gun when it is not being carried by
an individual. While it has certain features that provide for the
unattended security of a gun, limited access thereto and the quick
removal therefrom so it can be used, it does not, as noted above,
enhance the effectiveness of the gun, etc. Accordingly, we do not
believe that the electronic gun locker is an accessory to a
revolver or pistol.
Since there is not a specific tariff provision covering such
articles, we have concluded that the gun locker should be
classified under the provision covering its primary component
material, i.e., plastic.
In evaluating the claim of receipt of oral advice from a
Cleveland, Ohio Customs official, we specifically noted section
177.3(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.3(b)), which specifically
states that "[o]ral opinions or advice of Customs Service personnel
are not binding on the Customs Service."
An electronic gun locker made of plastic which is designed to
permit the secure storage of and quick access to revolvers and
pistols is classifiable as an article of plastic in subheading
3926.90.9090, HTSUSA, and is subject to a general rate of duty of
5.3 percent ad valorem.
NYRL 873140 is hereby affirmed.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division