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HQ 085033

October 26, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085033 SLR


TARIFF NO.: 4202.32.2000

Montgomery Ward Importing, Inc.
Mongomery Ward Plaza, 2-A
Chicago, IL 60671

RE: "Planner and Pen Set"

Dear Sirs:

This ruling is in response to a letter, dated June 27, 1989, submitted by Fritz Companies, Inc., requesting the classification of a "Planner and Pen Set" under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was provided for our examination.


The submitted sample, Item No. 7428, consists of the following items which fit into plastic inserts within the inner lining of a plastic-coated folding case: a telephone and address indexer; a calendar; a weekly planner; and a note pad. The case itself contains built-in plastic pages designed to hold credit cards and the like. A ball point pen insert also exits. A Velcro-type fastener secures these articles. Two ball point pens come with the Planner.


What is the proper classification of the "Planner and Pen Set" under the HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 3(b) provides for goods put up for retail sale. The Explanatory Notes, which constitute the official interpretaion of the tariff at the international level, state in Note X to Rule 3(b) that the phrase "goods put up in sets for retail" means goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings;

(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.

The "Planner and Pen Set" meets criteria (a), (b), and (c) above. At least two of the articles are classifiable in different headings: the ball point pen in subheading 9608.10.0000, HTSUSA, and the telephone and address indexer, weekly planner, and note pad in subheading 4820.10.20, HTSUSA. The various components of the "Planner and Pen Set" are put up together to carry out a specific activity of planning and organizing one's thoughts, activities, and personal contacts. Neatly packaged, this product is put up for sale directly to users without any need for repacking.

Acknowledging the above analysis, an essential character determination is in order. Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) states that a product's essential character may 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.

It is the opinion of this office that the role of the plastic-coated cover in relation to the overall use of the set in issue clearly indicates that the plastic portion is indispensable to the functioning of this product. This wrap-around cover secures, in one convenient location, the note pad, calendar, and weekly planner. By localizing these individual components, the case greatly enhances one's ability to organize thoughts, meetings, and the like on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis. Accordingly, the set as a whole must be classified under the subheading which applies to the holder.


The "Planner and Pen Set" is classifiable under the provision for articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag, with outer surface of plastic sheeting, other, subheading 4202.32.2000, HTSUSA, dutiable at 20% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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