Christopher M. Kane
Simon Gluck & Kane LLP
One Penn Plaza
250 West 34th Street
Suite 4615
New York, NY 10119

RE: Request for Reconsideration of NY N261261; Classification of Winch Strap and Chain

Dear Mr. Kane:

This letter is in response to your request, dated April 15, 2015, for reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter ("NY") N261261, which was issued to your client, Kinedyne Corporation on February 26, 2015. In arriving at our determination, we considered the materials in your original submission, discussions that occurred during a conference with our office on March 11, 2022, publicly available information, and supplemental documents filed on September 29, 2022. We apologize for the delay in responding to your request.


As stated in NY N261261, the hardware is described as a winch (model number 1020) that is constructed from medium carbon steel plate with precision cast steel pawls and gears. The winch consists of a round gear drum with teeth. The teeth are uniform but are asymmetrical with each tooth having a moderate slope on one edge and a steeper slope on the other edge. When the teeth are moving in a forward direction, the steel pawl allows the depression between the teeth to click easily as it passes the tip of each tooth. When the teeth move in the opposite direction, the pawl catches the sloped edge of the first tooth it encounters, thereby locking it against the tooth, preventing any movement and securing the winch strap and chain anchor in place over the cargo load. The winch is used on a flatbed truck for safe securing of cargo. The winch is manufactured to accommodate webbing straps up to four inches in width and may be used with webbing straps, cable or a combination of the two.

The 4-inch wide strap with integrated chain anchor (part number 422740) is a woven strap made from high tenacity polyester fibers using a double plain weaving method and treated with a urethane resin for strength and durability. It features a chain anchor that is permanently attached to the strap and consists of eleven quarter inch welded closed links with a heavy forged steel hook permanently attached to the eleventh closed link.

In our original ruling, we determined that the winch imported together with a strap and chain anchor and the winch imported without the strap and chain anchor were classified under heading 8425, HTSUS as winches; we also determined that the strap and chain anchor imported separately were classified under heading 6307, HTSUS as an other made up article. In your request for reconsideration, you argue that the strap and chain anchor are classified under heading 8431, HTSUS as a part suitable for use solely or principally with machinery of headings 8425 to 8430.


Whether the strap and chain anchor are classified under heading 6307, HTSUS as an other made up article or under heading 8431, HTSUS as a part of machinery of headings 8425 to 8430.


The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

6307 Other made up articles, including dress patterns.

8431 Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the machinery of headings 8425 to 8430.

Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification 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. Goods that are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings are classifiable in accordance with GRI 3.

GRI 3(a) states that the heading that provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings refer to only part of the items in a composite good or set, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to the goods, even if one of the gives a more complete or precise description of the good. As such, they are regarded as equally specific and classification of the composite good or set is to be determined by GRI 3(b) or GRI 3(c).

GRI 3(b) states that composite goods or sets which cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a) are to be classified as if they consisted of the component that gives them their essential character.

The term "part" is not defined in the HTSUS. In the absence of a statutory definition, the courts have fashioned two distinct but reconcilable tests for determining whether a particular item qualifies as a part for tariff classification purposes. See Bauerhin Technologies Limited Partnership, & John V. Carr & Son, Inc. v. United States, 110 F.3d 774 (Fed. Cir. 1997). Under the first test, articulated in United States v. Willoughby Camera Stores, 21 C.C.P.A. 322 (1933), an imported item qualifies as a part only if can be described as an "integral, constituent, or component part, without which the article to which it is to be joined, could not function as such article." Bauerhin, 110 F.3d at 779. Pursuant to the second test, set forth in United States v. Pompeo, 43 C.C.P.A. 9 (1955), a good is a "part" if it is "dedicated solely for use" with a particular article and, "when applied to that use...meets the Willoughby test." Bauerhin, 110 F.3d at 779 (citing Pompeo, 43 C.C.P.A. at 14); Ludvig Svensson, Inc. v. United States, 63 F. Supp. 2d 1171, 1178 (Ct. Int'l Trade 1999) (holding that a purported part must satisfy both the Willoughby and Pompeo tests). An item is not a part if it is "a separate and distinct commercial entity." Bauerhin, 110 F.3d at.779.

Before we address the classification of the strap and chain, we first discuss and affirm the classification of the winch under heading 8425, HTSUS. Heading 8425, HTSUS provides for, "Pulley tackle and hoists other than skip hoists; winches and capstans; jacks." As discussed in HQ H273307 (May 5, 2023), we have classified a narrow category of tie down devices in heading 8425, HTSUS as winches. These devices generally consist of a self-contained drum, gears, and pawl. When in operation, a strap, rope or chain is attached to an item and the winches use manual or electric energy to wind and tighten the strap around the drum, applying and maintaining tension on the strap, rope or chain. HQ H273307 (May 5, 2023); see also HQ H031587 (Apr. 1, 2011). We observe that the winch in this case operates in a similar manner as other winches classified in heading 8425, HTSUS. Specifically, the winch consists of a toothed drum and pawl, is mounted under the bed of a truck and is used to tighten a strap around cargo before transportation. Therefore, the winch is properly classified under heading 8425, HTSUS as a winch.

The strap and chain at issue consists of a 4-inch wide length of polyester webbing that is permanently connected to a chain. A heavy forged steel hook is attached to the end of the chain. When used, the chain can be connected to one side of a truck and the strap is wound around cargo and drawn up into the winch, which is mounted under the bed of a truck. When the winch is operated, it tightens the strap around cargo and the hook and chain provide the anchoring point that helps maintain tension. The strap and chain are substantially similar to other anchoring straps with metal hardware that we have previously classified under heading 6307, HTSUS, as made up textile articles, pursuant to GRI 3. See, e.g., NY 875985 (July 9, 1992), NY 883806 (Mar. 26, 1993), NY F89805 (Aug. 8, 2000), and NY N258863 (Nov. 21, 2014). Such straps consist of a length of webbing with metal fasteners that are used to anchor and secure webbing.

Kinedyne asserts that the instant strap should be classified as a part of a winch. However, we do not find that the strap and chain meet the test established by the Court of International Trade in United States v. Pompeo. Specifically, a good is a part only if it is "dedicated solely for use" with a particular article and, "when applied to that use...meets the Willoughby test." Bauerhin, 110 F.3d at 779 (citing Pompeo, 43 C.C.P.A. at 14).

In its condition as imported, the 4-inch strap at issue is substantially similar to other straps that Kinedyne imports and lists on its website for use with ratchets instead of winches. See HQ 089411 (June 20, 1991); https://www.kinedyne.com/4-inch-ratchet-straps/c/4500 (last visited December 8, 2022). On its website, Kinedyne lists various 4-inch wide straps for use with ratchets. All the straps consist of a length of webbing with a metal attachment at one end. One model of strap that is used with ratchets is identical to the strap at issue which Kinedyne claims can only be used with winches. It is comprised of a 4-inch wide length of webbing with a chain and hook permanently attached to one end. We therefore find that the strap at issue does not meet the parts test established in Pompeo because in its condition as imported, it is not "dedicated solely for use" with winches of heading 8425, HTSUS, as it can also be used with a ratchet.[1]

We also note that Kinedyne recognizes the strap as a separate and distinct commercial entity, which undermines its argument that the strap is a part. In Bauerhin, the court held that an item is not a part if it is "a separate and distinct commercial entity." Bauerhin, 110 F.3d at.779. Kinedyne's website clearly identifies winches and straps as separate and distinct commercial products. See header at https://www.kinedyne.com/ (last visited June 28, 2023). On the site, Ratchet, Tie-Down, & Winch Straps are listed as a separate category from the winches, which are found under "Flatbed Trailer Products." Even within the category of Flatbed Trailer Products, Kinedyne continues to maintain a distinction between straps and winches, and lists them as separate entities.

Kinedyne claims that Brother Intern. Corp. v. United States, 248 F. Supp. 2d 1224 (CIT 2002) supports its argument that the strap and chain are classified as part of a winch. In Brother, the CIT found that an ink cartridge was classified under heading 8473, HTSUS as a part of a printer rather than under heading 3702, HTSUS. 248 F. Supp. 2d at 1230. However, as the Brother court also acknowledges, "{i}t is a well-established principle that in customs classification cases a determination of fact or law with respect to one importation is not res judicata as to another importation of the same merchandise to the same parties.'" 248 F. Supp. 2d at 1232, (citing Schott Optical Glass, Inc. v. United States, 3 Fed. Cir. 35, 36, 750 F.2d 62, 64 (1984)). Thus, the classification of an ink cartridge in Brother has no bearing on the classification of a strap and chain that are used with a winch.[2] [3]

Because the strap and chain is not classified as a part of a winch on the basis of GRI 1, we apply GRIs 2 through 6 to classify the strap and chain. The strap and chain is a composite good, consisting of a fabric strap, metal chain, and hook, therefore we apply GRI 3 and must determine which component of the strap and chain impart the essential character. It is well-established that a determination as to "essential character" is driven by the particular facts of the case at hand. See, e.g., Alcan Food Packaging (Shelbyville) v. United States, 771 F.3d 1364, 1366 (Fed. Cir. 2014) ("The 'essential character' of merchandise is a fact-intensive issue."); see also EN VIII to GRI 3(b) ("The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods."). That said, essential character has traditionally been understood as "that which is indispensable to the structure, core or condition of the article, i.e., what it is" and as "the most outstanding and distinctive characteristic of the article." Structural Indus. v. United States, 360 F. Supp. 2d 1330, 1336 (Ct. Int'l Trade 2005).

In use, the strap wraps around and secures cargo to the bed of a truck, holding it in place whereas the chain provides a connection point between the strap and the truck. We find that the strap provides the essential character of the good because it is the portion which is wrapped around the drum and secures cargo safely to a truck. The strap is the most outstanding characteristic of the article, with the chain and hook providing a supporting role. Therefore, the strap and chain is classified under heading 6307, HTSUS as an other made up article. This is in keeping with our prior decisions to classify substantially similar straps with metal hardware in heading 6307, HTSUS. See, e.g., NY 875985 (July 9, 1992), NY 883806 (Mar. 26, 1993), NY F89805 (Aug. 8, 2000), and NY N258863 (Nov. 21, 2014).

In light of the foregoing, the strap and chain is classified under heading 6307, HTSUS as an other made up article.


By application of GRIs 1, 3(b), and 6, the strap and chain is classified under subheading 6307.90.98, HTSUS which provides for "Other made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other." The column one, general rate of duty is 7% ad valorem.

Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under 6307.90.98, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., 9903.88.15, in addition to subheading 6307.90.98, HTSUS, listed above.

The HTSUS is subject to periodic amendment, so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Note cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading. For background information regarding the trade remedy initiated pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, including information on exclusions and their effective dates, you may refer to the relevant parts of the USTR and CBP websites, which are available at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/tariff-actions and https://www.cbp.gov/trade/remedies/301-certain-products-china, respectively.

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 on the World Wide Web at www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.


Yuliya A. Gulis, Director
Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division

[1] Even assuming, arguendo, that the strap is dedicated for use solely with winches, we are not convinced that the strap satisfies the parts test established in Willoughby. Specifically, the strap and chain are not integral to the functioning of the winch. The winch that Kinedyne manufactures can still perform its mechanical functions without the strap and chain at issue. The round gear drum with teeth in the winch moves without the strap and the pawl catches on each tooth of the drum and holds it in place without the presence of the strap. Thus the strap is not integral to the mechanics involved in operating the gears of a winch. This is consistent with the common and commercial meaning of "winch." Winches generally consist of a drum, gears, and pawl that together perform the mechanical function of the winch without the presence of a rope, chain or strap. Indeed, the winch at issue can be used with either a strap or a cable, or even a combination of the two, indicating that the strap is not an integral part of the winch. Therefore, the strap fails to satisfy the Willoughby test and is not a part of the winch.

[2] Kinedyne states in the alternative that the winch straps at issue have undergone substantial transformation into a composite good dedicated to a particular purpose and therefore can be classified under heading 7326, HTSUS as the steel components impart the essential character of the article. However, substantial transformation is not relevant here and Kinedyne does not provide any reason why we should depart from our long-established practice of classifying straps with metal components under heading 6307, HTSUS pursuant to GRI 3. See HQ H273307 (May 5, 2023) (summarizing history of classification treatment of various straps, ratchets, and winches).

[3] Kinedyne asserts that it imports more 4-inch wide straps for use with winches and the only straps it imports for ratchets are 2 inches wide. Therefore, Kinedyne argues, we should classify the strap as a part of a winch because it does not import any 4-inch straps for ratchets. However, the ratio and volume of imports has no bearing on classification of goods and Kinedyne does not cite to any source supporting its stance that we should consider these factors.

Finally, Kinedyne argues that most ratchets use 2-inch wide straps, and a 4-inch wide strap cannot be used with a 2-inch wide ratchet. Notably, Kinedyne omits any discussion of the 4-inch wide ratchet straps that it manufactures and sells for its ratchets that are 4 inches wide.