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HQ 085224

September 18, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085224 DSN


TARIFF NO.: 3923.10.0000

Mr. Alan Kurz
Vice President, Purchasing
Pentapco, Inc.
15401 S. Figueroa Street
Gardena, California 90247

RE: Modification of HRL 082828 of April 27, 1989

Dear Mr. Kurz:

This ruling letter is to advise you that HRL 082828 of April 27, 1989, is being amended.


The sample originally submitted is a molded plastic pencil case which measures approximately 8-1/2 inches by 2 inches. The top of the case is detachable and the bottom of the case has a divider at one end which is approximately 2 inches from that end. The top of the pencil holder has "Happy Bee" inscribed on it.


Whether the pencil case was properly classified under subheading 4202.32.2000, HTSUSA.


Classification of merchandise is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. In HRL 082828 we classified the pencil case at issue under subheading 4202.32.2000, HTSUSA, which provides for articles of the kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag, with outer surface of plastic sheeting, other. Inasmuch as Heading

4202, HTSUSA, provides only for "...similar containers, of leather or of composition leather, of composition leather, of plastic sheeting, of textile materials, of vulcanized fiber or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials, if the pencil case is not of plastic sheeting it does not fall in Heading 4202. Therefore, if the pencil case does not have an outer surface of plastic sheeting, the issue becomes whether it is considered plastic articles for the conveyance or packing of goods. If so, the pencil case will be classifiable in the provision for these articles under subheading 3923.10.00, HTSUSA.

Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, unabridged (1986) defines the words "sheet" and "sheeting" as follows:
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

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

It is our position that the above cited definition requires 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 the provision for articles with outer surface of plastic sheeting under subheading 4202.32.2000, HTSUSA.

The question of whether the pencil case is an article for the conveyance or packing of goods must now be decided. The Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. 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. The pencil case at issue is used to convey pencils and pens. Therefore, the pencil case is classified under this heading. See HRL 083600 of May 24, 1989, and HRL 084657 of June 13, 1989, where a lipstick case and a cosmetic compact were classified under heading 3923, HTSUSA, based on the same analysis.


The pencil case is classified under subheading 3923.10.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics, boxes, cases, crates and similar articles, and dutiable at the rate of 3 percent ad valorem.

HRL 082828 of April 27, 1989 is modified in accordance with this ruling.


John Durant, Director

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