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HQ 951076

March 18, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 951076 jb


TARIFF NO.: 4820.10.4000; 4820.10.2020

Mr. Thomas E. Bernstein
Leeds Leather Products
4431 William Penn Highway
Murrysville, PA 15668

RE: "Pocket Secretary" (telephone/address book, calendar and notebook); "President Writing Pad" (leather holder with pad of writing paper); eo nomine provision; Heading 4820.

Dear Mr. Bernstein:

This is in response to your letter dated January 8, 1992 to our New York office in which you requested a tariff classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) on the merchandise described below. Samples were provided. Our response follows.


Two samples were received with you request: style number 1000-03, referred to as "Pocket Secretary", and 1000-01, referred to as "President Writing Pad". Both items will be manufactured in China.

The first item, "Pocket Secretary", is a 3 1/2 x 7 inch folding leather case which contains three independent paper articles: a telephone/address book, a 20-month engagement calendar book, and a note pad. These are held in place by means of cardboard appendages slipped into pockets on the inside of the leather case.

The second item, "President Writing Pad", is a 9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inch leather folder containing an 8 1/2 x 11 inch pad of lined writing paper. The cardboard backing sheet of the pad is slipped into a large pocket inside the leather folder, which also incorporates a pen holder and an additional pocket for loose papers.


Whether the subject merchandise is classifiable under heading 4820 of the Harmonized Tariff of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for, inter alia, notebooks, letter pads, memorandum pads, diaries and similar articles?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes. Where 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 in the order of their appearance.

Style 1000-03, "Pocket Secretary"

Heading 4820, HTSUSA, provides for:

Registers, account books, notebooks, order books, receipt books, letter pads, memorandum pads, diaries and similar articles (emphasis added), exercise books, blotting pads, binders (looseleaf or other), folders, file covers, manifold business forms, interleaved carbon sets and other articles of stationary, of paper or paperboard; albums for samples or for collections and book covers (including cover boards and book jackets) of paper or paperboard:

In Headquarters Ruling (HQ) 089960 dated February 10, 1992 and 089850 dated January 8, 1992, merchandise similar to the submitted sample was examined. In those rulings it was decided that an article which featured an address book, a note pad and calendar was considered similar to a diary.

The term "diary" as defined by the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary 1987, states:

2. A book prepared for keeping a daily record, or having spaces with printed dates for daily memoranda and jottings; also applied to calendars containing daily memoranda on matters of importance to people generally, or to members of a particular profession, occupation, or pursuit.

As was found in HQ 089960:

A similar article might be an address book for recording and keeping important addresses and telephone numbers in a single place for easy reference. The sample agendas are designed to keep notes, memoranda, addresses and telephone numbers in a single convenient location, as evidenced by the address-telephone book and note pad. The calendar facilitates daily record keeping. Customs considers heading 4820 to include within its scope diaries and similar articles such as these.

The "Pocket Secretary", Style 1000-03, containing a calendar, address book and note pad is designed to keep daily records and memoranda. Customs does not consider the submitted article to be bound. As such, proper classification is under subheading 4820.10.4000, HTSUSA, as "other" diaries and similar articles.

Style 1000-01, "President Writing Pad"

Heading 4820, HTSUSA, provides, inter alia, for notebooks, memorandum pads, diaries, and similar articles. The term "memorandum pad" is not defined per se in the dictionary, but is found under two separate entries in Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary 1991:
memorandum: 1. an informal record; also: a written reminder
pad: 4. a collection of sheets of paper glued together at one end

Considered as one term, a "memorandum pad" is an article featuring a block of blank pages attached at one end to facilitate note taking.

The submitted sample, by virtue of its design, a leather folder incorporating a pen holder and additional pockets for loose papers, emphasizes the distinctive function of the article. The role of the "President Writing Pad" is to provide a convenient and organized method in which to take notes. Memorandum pads are specifically provided for under subheading 4820.10.2020, HTSUSA, under the provision for memorandum pads, letter pads and similar articles.


Heading 4820, HTSUSA, provides, eo nomine, for the merchandise at issue. Style 1000-03, "Pocket Secretary", is classified in subheading 4820.10.4000, HTSUSA, under the provision for registers, account books, notebooks, order books, receipt books, letter pads, memorandum pads, diaries and similar articles: other. Articles classifiable in this subheading are free of duty. Style 1000-01, "President Writing Pad", is classifiable under subheading 4820.10.2020, HTSUSA, under the provision for diaries, notebooks, and address books, bound; memorandum pads, letter pads and similar articles... memorandum pads, letter pads and similar articles. The applicable rate of duty is 4 percent ad valorem.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) 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.


John Durant, Director

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