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Camel Manufacturing Co. v. United States

International Business Law

Case brief

Title:    Camel Manufacturing Co. v. United States

686 F. Supp 912 (1988)

Court of International Trade


The plaintiff imported nylon tents weighing over thirty pounds into the United States. These tents were designed to hold up to nine people and were used by people who camped outdoors solely or who camped outdoors while engaging in other activities like fishing, hunting and canoeing.
The plaintiff entered the tents as “sports equipment”.
In the case of The Newman Importing Co. Inc v. United States 415 F. Supp 375 (1976), the court had ruled that certain light tents used in backpacking were sports equipment because the activity of backpacking was found to be a sport.


The plaintiff questioned the classification of its goods as “Textile articles not specially provided for”. Such goods bore a duty of 25 cents per pound plus 15 percent ad valorem.

The plaintiff believed its goods should have been classified as “sports equipment” which bore only 10 percent ad valorem import duty. The plaintiff argued that “camping out” should be regarded as a sport so that these tents could be considered sporting equipment.


The court found that since the tents were too heavy to be considered sporting equipment, and could not expand the term ”sports” to include camping out, the plaintiff’s claim for classification was denied. Judgment was issued dismissing the claim.


I agree with decision of the court based on the reasons given. Also, I believe that the plaintiff only found it necessary to file for re-classification because it was undergoing liquidation.

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