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HQ 086347

April 20, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086347 SLR


TARIFF NO.: 4202.32.4000

Ms. Donna Albert
Mast Industries, Inc.
P.O. Box 2020
Andover, MA 01810

RE: Planner/Organizer

Dear Ms. Albert:

This ruling is in response to your letter of January 11, 1990, requesting the proper classification of a textile covered planner/organizer under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was provided for our examination.


The submitted sample, style MDA0004, is a 100 percent cotton textile covered organizer/planner. In the condition as submitted, it contains a spiral bound daily planner inserted under one side of the jacket and is designed to contain a second insert such as a memo pad or address book in the opposite side. The planner/organizer measures approximately 6-1/4" x 3-1/2". The textile outer material covers a base of 100 percent cardboard core and a thin foam padding.


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


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. When goods are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings, GRI 3 must be consulted. GRI 3(b) provides 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 Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b) indicate, in pertinent part, that "goods put up in sets for retail sale" 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 manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

The instant planner/organizer meets criteria (a), (b), and (c) above. The textile cover and the spiral notebook are classifiable in two different headings: 4202 and 4820, respectively. These components are put up together to carry out the specific activity of planning and organizing one's activities. Neatly packaged, this product is put up for sale directly to consumers without any need for repacking.

With the above elements satisfied, the essential character of the set must be determined to allow for proper classification. In general, "essential character" has been construed to mean the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish an article. It may be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of the constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

The cover is designed for prolonged use. The spiral bound daily planner, however, is a temporary article which, once used, will be replaced by consumers. The daily planner, therefore, takes on an importance second to that of the cover. Accordingly, the cover imparts the essential character of the set. The set as a whole, therefore, is classifiable under the subheading which applies to the cover.


MDA0004 is classifiable in subheading 4202.32.4000, HTSUSA, which provides for articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag, with outer surface of textile materials, of vegetable fibers and not of pile or tuft construction, of cotton, textile category 369, dutiable at 7.2 percent ad valorem.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local

Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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