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HQ 088033

January 4, 1991
CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 088033 SLR


TARIFF NO.: 3307.90.0000; 9608.10.0000; 4202.32.9550

Ms. Colleen Franklin
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
702 S.W. 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72716

RE: Sachet and Organizer Ensembles

Dear Ms. Franklin:

This is in response to your letter of August 31, 1990, requesting the classification of sachet and organizer ensembles under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was provided for our examination.


The merchandise at issue consists of two items: styles 1933/4 and ST 9117. Each item contains a textile covered organizer/agenda book, a scented sachet bag, and a ball point pen. The three articles are packaged together into a fitted clear acetate box.


Whether either ensemble qualifies as a "set" under the HTSUSA, and, if not, how must their classification be resolved.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. GRI 3(b) provides that goods put up in sets for retail sale shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. The Explanatory Note to GRI 3(b), however, indicates that in order to qualify as a "set," goods must consist of at least two different articles prima facie classifiable under different headings, contain products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity, and be put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to the user without repacking.

Here, both ensembles include at least two different articles classifiable in different headings (the pen in 9608 and the sachet in 3307) and are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to the user without the need for repacking. Their contents, however, are not put up to to meet a particular need or specific activity -- the agenda book and pen generally contribute towards one's writing while the sachet adds fragrance to clothing. Consequently, neither ensemble qualifies as a "set" under the HTSUSA. The sachet, pen, and agenda book, therefore, must be classified separately.


Heading 3307, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part, for "perfumery, cosmetic, or toilet preparations." Chapter 33, Legal Note 3 indicates that the expression "perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparations" in heading 3307 encompasses, among other products, scented sachets. Additionally, the Explanatory Note to heading 3307 indicates that the heading covers:

(2) Scented Sachets containing parts of aromatic plants used for perfuming linen cupboards.

The sachet's interior consists of scented wadding, not aromatic plants. Nonetheless, the subject sachet is classifiable in heading 3307. While the Explanatory Notes represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, they are not legally binding and cannot limit the scope of the headings or subheadings.

The sachet at hand differs from the pillow sachet classified as an other made up article of textile in Headquarters Ruling Letter 086056 of March 1, 1990, in that it is small in size and fulfills primarily a scenting function.


Heading 9608, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part, for "[b]all point pens." As the writing instrument before us is a ball point pen, it is classifiable in heading 9608.

Agenda Book

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part, for "traveling bags, toiletry bags...map cases, cigarette cases, tobacco pouches...and similar containers...of leather...of plastic sheeting, of textile materials or of paperboard materials." Customs, in Headquarter Ruling Letters 085033 of October 26, 1989, 086310 of March 29, 1990, 086347 of April 20, 1990, and 086981 of August 1, 1990, has consistently classified agenda book/organizers in heading 4202.


The scented sachet is classifiable in subheading 3307.90.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for other perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparations. The applicable rate of duty is 5.4 percent ad valorem.

The pen is classifiable in subheading 9608.10.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for ball point pens. The rate of duty is 0.8 cents plus 5.4 percent ad valorem.

The agenda book is classifiable in subheading 4202.32.9550, HTSUSA, which provides for articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag, with an outer surface of textile materials. The applicable rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem. Textile category 670 also applies.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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