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HQ 083436

December 22, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083436 CMS


TARIFF NO.: 8423.10.00

Mr. Brian Reinicke
MKC Customs Brokers, Inc.
P.O. Box 66332
Chicago, IL 60666

RE: Personal Weighing Scale with Canvas Case

Dear Mr. Reinicke,

You requested a ruling on behalf of Health-O-Meter, for the classification of a personal weighing scale with canvas case. The matter was referred by the Regional Commissioner of Customs, New York Region to Customs Headquarters for a ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Our ruling follows.


The merchandise consists of a personal weighing scale with canvas case. The scale weighs 5 pounds and is in the shape of a flat square box; it contains a remote display including an adapter. The importer describes the product as a portable electronic scale designed for weight watchers club members to carry back and forth from home to the club in the canvas case.

The canvas case is manufactured in the shape of the scale and has a carrying strap. The scale and case are imported and packaged together for retail sale.


By which of the following methods should the scale and case be classified:

1. As a scale and case set under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(b);

2. As a scale and its case under GRI 5(a); or

3. As a scale and its packing material under GRI 5(b).


The scale without the case is classified as a personal weighing scale in 8423.10.00, HTSUSA. The case without the scale, even if considered to be an accessory to the scale, would be classified in a heading other than 8423, HTSUSA. (While parts of scales are described by Heading 8423, accessories to scales are not). There are no Section or Chapter notes which control the classification of the merchandise when imported and packaged together for retail sale.

GRI 5(a) provides specific rules for the classification of "camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases...and similar containers". GRI 5(a) provides that articles which satisfy the criteria for cases or other containers under GRI 5(a) are not classified as one of the goods in a GRI 3(b) set (e.g. GRI 5(a) provides for the classification of cases which "...contain a specific article or set of articles..."(emphasis supplied)).

In order for an article to be a GRI 5(a) container, it must satisfy five requirements:

1. be specially shaped to contain a specific article, and

2. be suitable for long-term use, and

3. be presented with the articles for which they are intended, and

4. be of a kind normally sold with such articles, and

5. not give the whole its essential character.

The canvas case clearly satisfies requirements 1-3, and 5. The issue of whether it satisfies requirement 4 is less clear. Canvas cases are not normally sold with personal weighing scales. The scale under consideration is unique in that it is lightweight in design and is intended to be routinely carried to and from various locations. The basic canvas case can reasonably be accepted as a kind of case normally sold with a portable scale, and thus satisfies requirement 4 of GRI 5(a).

The case cannot be classified as packing material under GRI 5(b) because it is suitable for repetitive use. It cannot be classified as an article of a set under GRI 3(b) because it satisfies the criteria for cases under GRI 5(a).


The scale and canvas case are classified together, as a personal weighing scale with its case, in 8423.10.00, HTSUSA.


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