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HQ 084082

July 13, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084082 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 3923.10.0000

Mr. Robert J. Core
Encore Int'l Shipping Co.
170 Broadway
Suite 1601
New York, NY 10038

RE: Tariff classification of a plastic compact with a mirror

Dear Mr. Core:

Your letter dated March 15, 1989, addressed to our New York office concerning the tariff classification of a plastic compact with a mirror, has been referred to this office for a direct reply to you. A sample has been submitted for examination.


The sample produced in Malta is a compact made of injection molded plastics. It measures 3" X 2" and has a mirror on the inside of its top lid. After importation a pan of cream blush and an applicator brush will be inserted therein.


Does the compact have an outer surface of plastic sheeting?

Does the mirror or the plastic material impart the essential character to the compact?


It has been suggested that this merchandise has an outer surface of plastic sheeting and is, therefore, classifiable under subheading 4202.32.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), as articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag, with outer surface of plastic sheeting, other.

Various dictionaries define the words "sheet" and "sheeting" as follows:

The Random House Dictionary of the English language (1983):
sheet 2. a broad, relatively thin, surface, layer or covering. 3. a relatively thin, usually rectangular form, piece, plate, or slab as of photographic film, glass, metal, etc.
sheeting 1. the act of covering with or forming into a sheet or sheets
Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1986):
sheet 5: A broad thinly expanded portion of metal or other substance.
sheeting 1: a material in the form of sheets *** b: material (as a plastic) in the form of continuous

See also Sekisui Products, Inc. v. United States, 63 Cust. Ct. 123, C.D. 3885 (1969) which cites the Webster's definition of "sheets" with approval.

It is our position that the above-cited definitions require a finding that an article which is made directly from a mass of plastic which never becomes a "sheet" or "sheeting" and which never has a "sheet" or "sheeting" applied to its surface cannot be classified under subheading 4202.32.2000, HTSUSA.

Further, it is our view that the compact is a composite good the classification of which is governed by General Rule of Interpretation 3(b), HTSUSA. This Rule provides that under certain circumstances composite goods made up of different components shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. We find that the plastic component is the component which gives the compact its essential character.

As to whether the compacts are articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, we note that the Explanatory Notes for heading 3923, HTSUSA, state that the heading covers all articles of plastics commonly used for packing or conveyance of all kinds of products. Inasmuch as the subject compact is a case used to convey an applicator and a pan of cream blush, it is classifiable under subheading 3923.10.0000, HTSUSA, as articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics: boxes, cases, crates and similar articles.


The compact is classifiable under subheading 3923.10.00, HTSUSA, and dutiable at the rate of 3 percent ad valorem or entitled to duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences, if otherwise qualified.


John Durant, Director

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