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HQ 950844

September 14, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950844 EAB


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.83

District Director
United States Customs Service
300 South Ferry Street Terminal Island
San Pedro, California 90731

RE: Internal Advice Request No. 65/91; ribbonless cartridges; ribbons; cassettes; parts; spools; bobbins; similar supports; 8473; 3923

Dear Sir:

This request for Internal Advice was initiated by a letter dated October 15, 1991, from INCAS Corporation, 100 North Barranca, Suite 870, West Covina, CA 91791-1600.


The merchandise consists of two items identified by INCAS as "Printer Parts for IBM 4234 Mod. 11-12 CV01185491" and "Printer Parts for Mannesmann Tally MT 660/690 CV01185291," respectively. The items are so alike that the following single description of each sample will suffice for purposes of determining the proper classification of each under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).

The merchandise is an article of plastic construction. For purposes of this decision, the exact dimensions are unremarkable; we think it sufficient to state that it is two feet long, four inches wide and 1.5 inches deep, more or less. It contains no ribbon of any constituency. Upon prying off the "lid," the mostly hollow interior is presented. No information is provided by or on behalf of INCAS in regard to the operation of the merchandise, but, having manipulated and viewed the merchandise, it occurs to us that the pair of either meshed gears or friction rollers on the inside and to one end of the device govern the tension and retrieval for internal storage of the then spent ribbon that would have been installed in a fully inked condition by INCAS while manufacturing its product line. With a ribbon installed the merchandise is a printer ribbon cartridge ready for sale or to be placed into an appropriate impact printer. Without the ribbon, it is an empty printer ribbon cartridge of plastic, containing in one mechanism the housing, delivery, retrieval and storage devices or functions for the ribbon.

On behalf of INCAS, it is contended that the merchandise is a part of a printer classifiable under heading 8471, HTSUSA, and is, therefore, itself classifiable under heading 8473.

You are of the opinion that the merchandise is classifiable under heading 3926 as an article of plastic, because supports similar to spools and reels are classified according to their constituent material as provided for elsewhere than in Chapter 84.


What is the proper classification of empty cartridges and cassettes made of plastic for typewriter and machine ribbons?


Merchandise imported into the U.S. is classified under the HTSUSA. The tariff classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the principles set forth in the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs).

Heading 8473 is descriptive of "parts and accessories suitable for use solely or principally with machines of headings 8469 to 8472." The article consists of a plastic casing and holds spools or reels for a printer ribbon. It is precluded from classification in Section XVI of the HTSUS, which contains chapter 84, because of the exclusionary section note 1(c) that reads as follows:

[This section does not cover:]

"Bobbins, spools, cops, cones, cores, reels, or similar supports, of any material (for example, chapter 39, 40, 44 or 48 or section XV);".

Since we find that the subject merchandise is not classifiable under any of the headings of chapter 84 and since it is an article of plastic, we are of the opinion that it is classifiable in chapter 39, HTSUSA.

Heading 3926 describes other articles of plastics; subheading 3926.90.83 describes "empty cartridges and cassettes for typewriter and machine ribbons." We are of the opinion that the subject merchandise is classifiable under the foregoing provision of the HTSUSA.


Empty printer ribbon cassettes or cartridges made of plastic are classifiable in subheading 3926.90.83, HTSUSA.

You should advise the internal advice applicant of this decision.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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