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HQ 089587

August 29, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 089587 KWM


TARIFF NO.: 4202.32.2000

Ms. Denise Murray
Procorp, Inc.
283 Pleasent Street
Framingham, Massachusetts 01701

RE: Day Planner; agenda; organizer; set; GRI 3; similar container; plastic; paper.

Dear Ms. Murray:

Your letter dated May 1, 1991, has been forwarded to this office for a response to your request for a binding classification ruling on merchandise described as a "Day Planner." Our ruling follows.


The merchandise consists of a trifold cover measuring approximately 6 1/2 inches by 4 1/4 inches when folded. It is composed of three pieces of paperboard covered with plastic sheeting and assembled by heat sealing. Inside the cover are a telephone and address indexer, a 20 month calendar and a note pad. The indexer and calendar have a spiral binders. The calendar had a block of space for each day of the 20 months as well as pages in the back titled "Call/Do/See." The indexer, calendar and note pad are secured by inserting the cardboard backing of each into a slit in the interior plastic surface. Thus, each can be removed and/or replaced when its' usefulness is exhausted. The folder also contains plastic inserts for business cards and a ball point pen.


How is the Day Planner classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relevant Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied, taken in order.

We note one heading which may be eligible for classification of this product by applying GRI 1. Heading 4820, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, notebooks, letter pads, memorandum pads, diaries and similar items. Customs has consistently ruled that merchandise such as this is not included in heading 4820, HTSUSA, as an article "similar" to these enumerated. We see no reason to change that analysis in this case.

Having determined that no heading terms provide for these goods, we consider the plastic cover and contents to comprise a "set put up for retail sale" as described by GRI 3(b). Such sets are taken to mean merchandise which: (a) consists 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 the specific activity of organizing one's activities; and (c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking . . . (See, Explanatory Note X to GRI 3(b)).

The instant item consists of a trifold cover, paper inserts, plastic inserts and a pen, each classifiable in separate headings. Customs has ruled that trifold covers such as these are classified in heading 4202, HTSUSA, as a "similar container" to the articles of that heading. The paper inserts are classifiable as articles of paper in heading 4820, HTSUSA.

The plastic card holder is arguably a part of the cover, but if it were classified separately, it would fall under a heading of Chapter 39, HTSUSA. Thus, condition (a), above, is satisfied. In addition, the elements are put up together to provide a complete and handy tool for tracking and recording appointments, business contacts, daily events, or personal memoranda, all activities legitimately with the intent of (b). Lastly, they are put up in manner suitable for sale directly to users, as specified in (c).

GRI 3(b) states that goods put up in sets for retail sale be classified according to that component which establishes the essential character of the set. In the case of substantially similar merchandise, Customs has determined that the essential character of such an item is the plastic cover because of the indispensable and central role it plays in relation to the overall use of the goods. The holder is much more than a simple container; it functions to bring together all the components in a single set so that they interrelate, allowing the user to organize, record and track his or her activities, the very activities which make the item a set (see above). Lastly, it is the plastic cover which may be used over the long term, while the paper items are used and replaced, as when the note pad is empty or the new year requires a replacement calendar. The cover, as a component of the set, gives the set its essential character, and the set must be classified under the provision for that component, i.e., heading 4202, HTSUSA.

Within heading 4202, HTSUSA, the nomenclature provides for "Articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag." Because of the small size of this merchandise, we are of the opinion that it is of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag. Articles of this kind are further classified according to their outer surface, in this case
plastic sheeting; the subheading classification for this merchandise is therefore under 4202.32.2000, HTSUSA.


The above described merchandise, known variously as a "planner", agenda" or "organizer" is classified under subheading 4202.32.2000, HTSUSA, as an similar article of the kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag, having an outer surface of plastic sheeting. The applicable rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem.


John A. Durant
Commercial Rulings Division

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