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HQ 088681

May 14, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088681 KWM


TARIFF NO.: 4202.12.2030

Mr. Geoff Phillips
Tic-La-Dex Business Systems, Inc.
3443 Camino Del Rio South
Suite 326
San Diego, CA 92108-3901

RE: Modification of Headquarters Ruling Letter 087439; HRL 087439; Portfolio; Unfinished or unassembled goods; GRI 2; Sets put up for retail sale; GRI 3; Country of origin.

Dear Mr. Phillips:

On October 30, 1990, this office issued Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087439, which classified an "unassembled portfolio." Subsequent to the issuance of that letter, we had occasion to reconsider our rationale for that classification. This letter is to inform you that we now consider a portion of that rationale to be in error, and we hereby modify that portion of the letter, as detailed below.


The facts are set forth in HRL 087439, and will not be detailed here. The portion pertinent to our modification is contained in the last full paragraph on page 1:

The importer has indicated that the various components will be imported into the United States in separate cartons in the same container. The components which make up the portfolio such as the portfolio outer cover, the portfolio main body and the hardware will be assembled in the United States . . . [t]he remaining components are separate articles which are inserted into the finished portfolio.

In short, the various components are imported together (in a common container) but in an unassembled form. They are not, at the time of importation, "put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking." Therefore, our analysis which determines the merchandise to constitute a set under General Rule of Interpretation 3(b) is in error. GRI 3 should not have been considered in our classification of the merchandise; the unassembled portfolio may be classified by application of GRI 2, without having to employ further interpretative principles.


HRL 087439 is hereby modified by striking from the ruling the following text: Beginning with the second full paragraph under "Classification" on page 2, which reads as:

GRI 3 provides for goods which may be classifiable under two or more headings . . .
and ending with the second full paragraph on page 3, which reads:

. . . the portfolio will be considered to constitute part of the set classifiable with the portfolio.

Any additional references to the portfolios as sets should also be disregarded.

Please note that the classification and duty rate reflected in the HOLDING of HRL 087439 are not affected by this modification.

This notice to you should be considered a modification of HRL 087439 under 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). It is not to be applied retroactively to HRL 087439 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)) and will not, therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of your merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type. HRL 087439 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification in that current contracts for importation arriving at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant to it. If such a situation arises, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and may apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may be warranted by the circumstances. However, please be advised that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.


John A. Durant,
Commercial Rulings Division

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