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HQ 089226

July 29, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089226 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 9101.99.80

Mr. Terry Esposito
Manager, Traffic and Imports
Henry Birks & Sons Limited
1240 Phillips SQ., Montreal, Canada
H3B 3H4

RE: Watch, "Calibre 89"

Dear Mr. Esposito:

In a letter dated March 28, 1991, you inquired as to the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of a watch manufactured by Patek Philippe, of Geneva, Switzerland.


The "Calibre 89" watch is one of a kind and is valued at $4,975,000,00. It is considered the world's most complicated watch taking five years to design and four years to complete. It consists of 1,728 parts, is made of 18 carat gold and performs many functions

You claim that this watch is a collectible entitled to free entry under subheading 9705.00.0090, HTSUSA, as collections and collector's pieces of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, anatomical, historical, archeological, palaeontological, ethnographic or numismatic interest.


Is the watch a collectible of historical interest within the purview of subheading 9705.00.0090, HTSUSA?


It appears that the only portion of subheading 9705.00.0090, HTSUSA, which might be applicable is collectors pieces of historical interest. The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA (EN), although not dispositive, should be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUSA. See 54 FR 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN (B) (1) to heading 97.05 reads as follows:

(B) Collections and collectors' pieces of historical, ethnographic, palaeontological or archaeological interest, for example:

(1) Articles being the material remains of human activity suitable for the study of the activities of earlier generations, such as: mummies, sarcophagi, weapons, objects of worship, articles of apparel, articles which have belonged to famous persons.

Although the watch is a collectible based on the foregoing, it does not fall within subheading 9705.00.0090, HTSUSA, as a collector's piece of historical interest. Consequently, it is classifiable under subheading 9101.99.80, HTSUSA, as wrist watches, pocket watches and other watches including stop watches, with case of precious metal or metal clad with precious metal, other, other, having over 17 jewels in the movement.


The "Calibre 89" watch is not a collector's piece of historical interest within the purview of subheading 9705.00.0090, HTSUSA.

The "Calibre 89" watch is classifiable under subheading 9101.99.80, HTSUSA, with duty at the rate of $2.30 each plus 6 percent ad valorem on the case.


John Durant, Director

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