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NY 869296

DECEMBER 6, 1991

CLA-2-49:S:N1:234 869296


TARIFF NO.: 4911.99.6000

Mr. Rex Crossen
Educational Service Providers
P.O. Box 175
Edmonds, WA 98020

RE: The tariff classification of a "Phonics Flashcard System" from Taiwan.

Dear Mr. Crossen:

In your letter dated November 21, 1991, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A sample was submitted and will be retained for reference. You describe it as a single integrated product designed to empower parents, grandparents, teachers, baby-sitters and "homeschoolers" to teach basic reading skills to children over 3 1/2, illiterate adults, or English-as-a-second-language students. It consists of one teacher's manual, 143 large, color- coded flashcards, one 30-minute audio cassette tape explaining how to use the manual, and a wooden tray to display the cards during instruction. All of these components are packed together in a shrink-wrapped, printed paperboard storage box.

Your letter implies a belief that this product is a "set," as that term is meant by General Rule of Interpretation 3 (b), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), and that it should therefore be classified under a single subheading. We agree. However, while you state that the teacher's manual (a 35- page staple-bound book) "is the essential character of the system," our position is that the flashcards impart the essential character of the set. The cards, rectangular sheets of paperboard which have been offset printed with letters of the alphabet (singly or in combination, occasionally with an accompanying illustration), constitute the bulk of the items in the package, are by far the most expensive component, and play the most active role in the use of the goods.

Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the "Phonics Flashcard System" will be 4911.99.6000, HTS, which provides for other (than certain enumerated) printed matter: printed on paper in whole or in part by a lithographic process. The rate of duty will be 0.4%.

Although we are aware that the submitted sample is a domestically produced version of the product, please note that the imported shrink-wrapped packages will be required to be marked "Made in Taiwan," in a conspicuous place, and in close proximity to any U.S. addresses or references which also appear.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire

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