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HQ 083431

November 13, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083431 JMH


TARIFF NO.: 3909.50.50

Daniel W. Szymanski
Traffic Manager
Panduit Corp.
17301 Ridgeland Avenue
Tinley Park, Illinois 60477-0981

RE: Cable splicing kit

Dear Mr. Szymanski:

Your letter of November 15, 1988, requesting a ruling classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA) for your Cell-Cast cable splicing kit was referred to this office for a reply.


The merchandise in question, the Cell-Cast cable splicing kit, is imported from Switzerland. The kit consists of a thermoplastic mold, plastic sealing tape, and a two-part polyurethane casting resin. The mold is placed around the cables to be spliced together, the ends of the mold are sealed to the cables with the tape, and then the resin is poured into the mold.

The Cell-Cast kit is for industrial use in the splicing of electrical, telephone, and signal cables. It will be sold directly to the users.


Whether General Rule of Interpretation 3(b) of the HTSUSA covers goods to be sold directly to the end user and in retail stores.


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 states in part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any
relative section or chapter notes and...according to the following provisions." The "following provisions" include GRI 3(b) which states "...goods put up in sets for retail sale...shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character..." (emphasis added).

In the present situation, the mold, resin, and tape are sold together as a set. However, they are not sold in retail stores. Since there are no chapter or section notes which address this point, the Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA must be examined. Although not dispositive, the Explanatory Notes are to be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUSA. 54 Fed Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The Explanatory Note for GRI 3 is instructive. The Explanatory Note states:

For the purposes of the Rule, the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" shall be taken to mean goods which:
(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings. Therefore, for example, six fondue forks cannot be regarded as a set within the meaning of the Rule; (b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and (c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards). (emphasis added) Harmonized Commidity Description and Coding System, Vol. 1, p. 4.

Since the parts of the definition are listed in the conjunctive, all three parts must be fulfilled. First, the Cell- Cast kit is made of three items, all of which are classifiable in different headings of the HTSUSA. Secondly, the three products are sold together for the singular purpose of splicing cables. Finally, the kit is sold directly to its users without any further packaging or packing. Therefore, the Cell-Cast kit are "goods put up in sets for retail sale" within the meaning of GRI

In order to classify the kit it must be determined which component gives the set its "essential character." It is the opinion of this office that the polyurethane casting resin gives the kit its essential character. All parts of the kit are necessary. However, it is the resin which acts as the splicing agent to hold the wires together. Furthermore, the importer's catalogue focuses primarily upon the various resins indicating that the resin is the crucial element of the activity.

Since the resin gives the kit its essential character, the
classification for the resin will be the classification for the entire set. The appropriate classification for the resin is within heading 3909, HTSUSA, as "Amino-resins, phenolic resins and polyurethanes, in primary forms..." Therefore, the Cell-Cast cable splicing kit is classified within heading 3909, HTSUSA.


The Cell-Cast cable splicing kit is a set within the meaning of GRI 3(b), with the polyurethane casting resin giving the kit its essential character. The Cell-Cast kit is to be classified within the subheading 3909.50.5000, HTSUSA, for polyurethane resin. The rate of duty is 6.3 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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