United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1990 HQ Rulings > HQ 0085483 - HQ 0085560 > HQ 0085526

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 085526

December 21,1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085526 SLR


TARIFF NO.: 3923.21.0050; 3923.29.0000

Brenda A. Jacobs, Esq.
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. 1707 L Street, N.W.
Suite 725
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Pencil Pouches

Dear Ms. Jacobs:

This ruling is in response to your inquiry, dated August 25, 1989, on behalf of your client, K mart Corporation, requesting the proper classification of plastic looseleaf binder pencil cases under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


Two samples were provided for our examination. Both are made of plastic sheeting material. Style 25-38-27 measures approximately 9-1/2 inches by 6 inches, with no gusset, with an interlocking Ziplock-type closure. Style 25-39-11 measures approximately 11 inches by 6-1/2 inches, also with no gusset, with a flap and metal zipper closure. Both styles show a series of stamped holes which can be punched out to allow placement onto the rings of a looseleaf binder. Both items are intended to contain various school supplies such as pens, pencils, and erasers.


What is the proper classification of the subject merchandise under the HTSUSA?


Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for pouches and similar containers. Subheading 4202.32, HTSUSA, provides for articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag with outer surface of plastic sheeting or of textile materials.

Customs, in HRL 085356, dated November 20, 1989, classified pencil pouches in heading 4202; their size and generic characteristics strongly suggested they were to be carried in a handbag.

Here, the subject cases are designed to be carried inside a looseleaf binder, not a pocket or handbag. This is evident by the presence of stamped/punch out holes strategically located to accommadate looseleaf binder rings. Additionally, we believe that the instant pouches are too large to be placed in a pocket or handbag. Consequently, they are not classifiable in subheading 4202.32, HTSUSA.

Heading 3923, HTSUSA, provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastic. The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Note to heading 3923 indicates that the heading covers all articles of plastics commonly used for the packing or conveyance of all kinds of products. Inasmuch as the pencil pouches convey pens, pencils, erasers, and the like, they are classifiable under heading 3923, HTSUSA, as articles for the conveyance or packing of goods.

Heading 3926, HTSUSA, provides for other articles of plastics...of headings 3901 to 3914. Subheading 3926.10.0000, HTSUSA, provides for office and school supplies. While this particular subheading seems to describe the subject pencil pouches, heading 3926 primarily functions as a basket provision for Chapter 39. Within the Chapter, heading 3923 provides a more specific description of the merchandise in issue at the heading level.


The merchandise in issue is classifiable under heading 3923, HTSUSA. If made of polymers of ethylene, the subject pouches are classifiable in subheading 3923.21.0050, HTSUSA. If made of other plastics, they are classifiable in subheading 3923.29.0000. In either event, the duty remains the same: 3 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: