Tamra S. Nelson
1211 N. Miller Street
Anaheim, CA 92806
RE: The tariff classification of a backpack from China
Dear Ms. Nelson:
In your letter dated March 21, 2008 you requested a classification ruling. The sample which you submitted is being returned as requested.
The sample submitted is referred to as style number TSB116US (SonicPak).
The item is a backpack with a detachable iPod case with speaker. The backpack is constructed with an outer surface of man-made textile material. It is designed to provide storage, protection, organization and portability for accessories and personal effects during travel. The backpack has a main textile-lined zippered compartment with a large interior padded pocket that secures with a hook-and-loop closure. Adjacent to the main compartment is another zippered compartment. The interior of this compartment has several zippered mesh pockets and several pockets with hook-and-loop closures. The top of the backpack has a carrying handle with a rubber grip and elastic top mesh pockets at each end. There are two padded adjustable straps permanently attached to the rear exterior of the pack which enables the user to wear the item over the shoulders and on the back. The front exterior has a zippered pocket. Attached to the front exterior by a zipper and two plastic buckles, is a detachable iPod case with speaker.
In your letter, you state that the backpack and detachable speaker are a composite good and that neither the backpack nor the speaker provides the essential character of the item, and should be classified according to General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) 3(c) under subheading 8515.21.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).
To determine whether the merchandise constitutes a composite good, we look to Explanatory Note IX to GRI 3(b), which states in pertinent part:
For the purposes of this Rule, composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.
The iPod case with speaker and the backpack components are attached to each other and adapted to one to the other and are mutually complementary and together form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts. We find that the backpack with detachable iPod case with speaker is a composite good. Thus, we must determine which component imparts the essential character to the merchandise.
Explanatory Note (EN) VIII to GRI 3(b) states:
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 material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.
In this instance, we find that it is the backpack which imparts the essential character to the article. A consumer's motivating impetus to purchase this article would primarily be the need or desire for a backpack that provides storage, protection, organization, and portability to a variety of personal effects during travel. The fact that this article can also amplify music directed into the amplifier and speaker from an external output source may make the case distinctive and more attractive to some. However, it is unlikely that a consumer would purchase this article primarily for use as an amplifier. The essential character of the subject backpack with detachable speaker is imparted by the 4202 component and the composite good is classified under subheading 4202.92.3020, HTSUS.
The applicable subheading for style TSB116US will be 4202.92.3020, HTSUS, which provides for travel, sports, and similar bags, with outer surface of textile materials, other, other, of man-made fibers, backpacks. The duty rate will be 17.6% 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/.
HTSUS 4202.92.3020 falls within textile category 670. With the exception of certain products of China, quota/visa requirements are no longer applicable for merchandise which is the product of World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries. Quota and visa requirements are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information on quota and visa requirements applicable to this merchandise, we suggest you check, close to the time of shipment, the “Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas” which is available on our web site at www.cbp.gov. For current information regarding possible textile safeguard actions on goods from China and related issues, we refer you to the web site of the Office of Textiles and Apparel of the Department of Commerce at otexa.ita.doc.gov.
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 Vikki Lazaro at 646-733-3041.
Robert B. Swierupski