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HQ 085481

December 8, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:CV:G: 085481 JLV


TARIFF NO.: 8205.51.30

John M. Peterson, Esq.
Neville, Peterson & Williams
39 Broadway
New York, New York 10006

RE: Miniature potting or garden tools and accessories; sets

Dear Mr. Peterson:

In a letter of August 10, 1989, on behalf of your client, Totes, Inc., Loveland, Ohio, you request reconsideration of a ruling letter of July 31, 1989 (file 843179), in which a Totes "Potting Tools Set" was classified as other hand tools, not elsewhere provided for: other household tools, in subheading 8205.51.30, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA). Our decision follows.


The merchandise consists of six items: a miniature trowel measuring approximately 7-1/2 inches in length, a miniature spade measuring approximately 7-1/2 inches in length, a miniature rake measuring approximately 5-3/4 inches in length, a safety pruner measuring approximately 7-1/4 inches in length, a pair of woven cotton gloves with applied cuffs, and a fold-over pouch of plastic and nylon that is designed with individual pockets for each tool and a snap- fastened elastic band to hold the gloves. The trowel, spade, and rake have wooden handles and metal working parts. The pruner has plastic handles (without finger rings) and spring- action metal blades.

On June 22, 1989 (file 083964), we held, in pertinent part, that certain miniature hand tools similar to the articles in issue were classified as other household hand tools in subheading 8205.51.75, HTSUSA, because the miniature tools were not of the kind of larger and sturdier hand tools intended for classification in heading 8201, HTSUSA.

You agree that the articles are classifiable as a set, but conclude that they are properly classifiable in subheading 8201.10.00 because (1) the language of heading 8201 is not limited by criteria based on size, and (2) the language of heading 8201 does not require all tools within that heading to be principally used for agricultural, horticultural, or forestry purposes.


Are miniature hand tools, which resemble in shape and general appearance those articles known as trowels, shovels, rakes, and secateurs, excluded from heading 8201 because they are not as large and sturdy as the type of hand tools commonly known as trowels, shovels, rakes, and secateurs?

Are these miniature hand tools "of a kind used in * * * horticulture" if the use is for the care of potted plants in or around the household?


The headings in issue are headings 8201 and 8205, HTSUSA, which provide as follows:

8201 Handtools of the following kinds and base metal parts thereof: spades, shovels, mattocks, picks, hoes, forks and rakes; axes, bill hooks and similar hewing tools; secateurs and pruners of any kind; scythes, sickles, hay knives, hedge shears, timber wedges and other tools of a kind used in agriculture, horticulture or forestry

8205 Handtools (including glass cutters) not elsewhere specified or included; blow torches and similar self-contained torches; vises, clamps and the like, other than accessories for and parts of machine tools; anvils; portable forges; hand- or pedal- operated grinding wheels with frameworks; base metal parts thereof

First, except to the extent necessary as a result of the classification of the individual components, we need not review the determination that the articles as imported constitute a set within General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(a) and (b), HTSUSA. Furthermore, the classification of the secateur (pruning shears) is not an issue. Heading 8201
provides in pertinent part for "secateurs of any kind." The Explanatory Notes (EN) to heading 8201 describe (in relevant part) secateurs as follows:

(5) One-handed secateurs (including poultry shears). These are generally composed of two shafts articulated on a pivot about three-quarters of the way along their length. * * * they further differ from the scissors of heading 82.13 since they have no finger rings.

Secateurs almost always have a spring which forces the shafts apart after cutting, and a hook or other fastening so that they can be easily opened or closed with one hand. In cutting they are manipulated with one hand, and they have a very powerful action.

This heading includes gardeners' secateurs, flower or fruit secateurs; vineyard secateurs with narrow, tapering blades, etc.

The small secateur included in the imported set falls within this description. Although lightweight, they are similar to bud shears or floral pruning shears. We conclude that the secateur would be classifiable (if imported separately) in subheading 8201.50.00, HTSUSA.

Concerning the classification of the "spade," "trowel," and "rake," we adopt the rationale of our ruling of June 22, 1989 (file 083964), in which we held that similar miniature tools were not spades, rakes, or horticultural tools of heading 8201. Spades, rakes, and trowels of the type in 8201 may be large or small, as long as they meet the common meaning of the terms. In this case, the miniature spade does not rise to the level of a spade which is defined in Webster's Third New International Dictionary (Unabridged), 1965, at page 2181, as "an implement for turning soil * * * adapted for being pushed into the ground with the foot * * *." The miniature rake does not rise to the level of a rake which is defined at page 1876 as "a hand tool usu. of a bar with projecting prongs that is set transversely at the end of a long handle and used for gathering grass, leaves, or other material or for loosening or smoothing the surface of the ground * * *."

Regarding classification as other tools of a kind used in horticulture in heading 8701, we also conclude that the lack of substantial construction and size are sufficient to remove
these miniature tools, including the miniature trowel," from the type of tools commonly recognized and used in the pursuit of horticulture. For example, the list of exemplars in the EN to heading 8201 includes tools that have a more durable and serious application to agricultural or horticultural uses: " * * * planters, seeders, dibbers, trowels and transplanters; fruit pickers; cow combs, curry combs and pig scrapers; * * * lawn edging irons; sheep shears."

In view of this, and absent a more specific provision, the implements fall within heading 8205 for hand tools not elsewhere specified or included. The miniature size of these implements is evidence of their use in the household rather than in a commercial or business setting. These implements would be used, for example, by the occasional hobbyist around the home. Therefore, we conclude that they are classified in subheading 8205.51.30, HTSUSA, as other household hand tools of iron or steel.

GRI 3(b) requires that goods put up in sets for retail sale shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. The components of the set are the pair of gloves, the three miniature imple- ments, and the secateur (bud shears). Although the bud shears appear to have the most significant functional or utilitarian use in the set, that feature alone does not warrant a conclusion that the bud shears impart the essential character to the set. GRI 3(c) requires that, when goods cannot be classified by Rule 3(a) or 3(b), they are to be classified in the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. In this case, the three miniature implements are classified within heading 8205. That classification merits equal consideration with heading 8201 and heading 6216 (gloves). Therefore, the classification of the set is in subheading 8205.51.30, HTSUSA, pursuant to GRI 3(c), HTSUSA.


For the above reasons, we conclude that the miniature tools, secateur, pair of gloves, and wraparound case are classified as a set in subheading 8205.51.30, HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director

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