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HQ 951171

June 8, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 951171 ALS


TARIFF NO.: 3923.21.0090, 3923.50.0000, 8505.90.80

Ms. Valerie L. Matthews
C. J. Tower, Inc.
Customs Brokers
128 Dearborn Street
Buffalo, New York 14207-1300

RE: Plastic Bags Used to Make Ice Cubes and Ice Treats, Plastic Closure Clips to Seal Bags, and a Permanent Magnet Encased in a Plastic Housing and Attached to a Plastic Hanging Device

Dear Ms. Matthews:

This is in reference to your request dated January 19, 1992, on behalf of Studley Canada Ltd., to our District Office in Buffalo for a binding ruling on ice bags of various sizes, plastic clips used to close bags/containers and a magnetically charged ring. Your request and the samples thereto were referred to this office for further consideration.


There are three products under consideration. All the products are totally or substantially of plastic. The first item is a group of thin polyethylene plastic bags of varying sizes used to make large or small ice cubes or to make frozen ice treats. Each of the bags contain small compartments or pockets to create ice cubes when the bags are filled with water and placed in a freezer. A similar compartmentalized plastic bag may be filled with fruit juices, milk shakes or other liquids to make frozen treats similar to a popsicle~ without a stick. Each of the bags has an opening at one end which can be utilized to fill the bag with liquids. The ice cube bags can be converted to - 2 -
freezer/boiling/microwave bags by breaking the inner seals of the bags in accordance with instructions on each retail sale box containing a supply of the bags.

The second item is composed of two types of reusable plastic clips which are used to seal the aforementioned bags. One clip is approximately 2 1/4 inches long by 2 inches wide which is hinged in the middle. Each half of the clip has a double set of jaws. When folded the plastic jaws from one half of the clip fit inside the plastic jaws on the other half of the clip and are held together by friction. When utilized to seal a plastic bag at its open point, the bag is placed between the jaws and both halves of the clip are pressed together. The second clip is approximately 7 1/2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide. It is hinged at the midpoint of its length. When folded an appendage on one end of the clip fits into a notch in a latch on the other end of the clip. This type of clip is also used to seal bags.

The third item is a circular permanent magnet encased in plastic and is connected to a plastic hanging device. It is designed to be placed in the water reservoir of humidifiers, tea kettles, coffee makers and water tanks with the magnet in the water. The stated purpose of the article is to prevent calcium buildup in appliances by causing calcium molecules in the water to bind with other natural mineral particles rather than forming a scale on the inner surface of appliances.


What is the tariff classification of the plastic bags, the plastic clips and the permanent magnet encased in plastic?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification is to be determined in accordance with the terms and heading and any relevant section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods, and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied, taken in order.

We first considered the classification of the plastic bags. We note that two of the bags were specifically designed to be used in a manner similar to ice cube trays and the third to make freezer treats. They are designed to be filled with water or other liquids and frozen. The ice cube bags may, however, in - 3 -
accordance with instruction provided on the retail box containing a quantity of the bags, be so manipulated as to break the inner seals and permit the bags to be used for the storage of food. Information on the box also indicates that the bags may be used as boiling or microwave bags. These bags can thus be used for a variety of purposes but are primarily designed as containers to pack, convey or store liquids and food items similar to items specified in Heading 3923, HTSUSA.

We next considered the classification of plastic clips which are used to seal the aforementioned bags or other bags and containers. The sole purpose of these clips is to close openings in the bag to prevent their contents from escaping. These clips act as closures and are similar to items also specified in Heading 3923, HTSUSA.

The remaining item is a circular permanent magnet encased in a plastic housing and connected to a plastic hanging device. While the article is normally utilized in a household and is composed partially of plastic, we believe that it is not classifiable as a household article or an article of plastic since its function, the prevention of calcium buildup is accomplished by the magnet. Since the magnet is apparently the primary functional part of the article, we referred to the provisions for magnets in Chapter 85, HTSUSA. In connection therewith, we consulted the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized System (EN's) which represents the opinion of the international classification experts. We noted that Paragraph (2) under EN 85.05 specifically states that "Permanent magnets remain classified here whatever their use..." Thus, we believe that this item should be classified under the provisions of Chapter 85, HTSUSA.


The polyethylene plastic bags designed to make ice cubes or flavored ice treats are classifiable under subheading 3923.21.00, HTSUSA, and are subject to a general rate of duty of 3 per cent ad valorem.

The plastic clips designed to close openings in the above- noted plastic bags or other containers to keep their contents from escaping are classifiable under subheading 3923.50.00, HTSUSA, the provision for stoppers, lids, caps and other closures. The clips are dutiable at a general rate of 5.3 per cent ad valorem.

The permanent magnet encased in plastic with a plastic hanger which is designed to prevent calcium deposit buildup is - 4 -
classifiable under subheading 8505.90.80, HTSUSA, the provision for permanent magnets, other, other. The magnet is dutiable at a general rate of 3.9 per cent ad valorem.

The above products, which are the product of Canada, may be eligible, in accordance with General Note 3(c)(vii)(B), HTSUSA, for a reduced rate of duty, upon compliance with the provisions of the United States - Canada Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and section 10.301 et seq., Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.301 et seq.)


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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