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HQ 952552

October 30, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952552 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8422.30.90

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
6269 Ace Industrial Drive
P.O. Box 37260
Milwaukee, WI 53237-0260

RE: Protest No. 3701-92-100044; Hand Carton Sealer; Section XV, Note 1(f); HQ 086869; NY 846543; NY 849895; NY 867321; 8479.89.90; 8205.59.80

Dear Sir:

This is our response on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 3701-92-100044, dated July 1, 1992, concerning your action in classifying and assessing duty on hand carton sealers under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise consists of hand carton sealers. The sealer is a hand-held device used to seal the flaps of a carton or box closed. It is comprised of a plastic handle attached to a metal body containing a spring pressure bar, a freely turning plastic roller, and a metal cutting blade. To operate the sealer, a roll of adhesive sealing tape is slid onto the spring bar in order to hold the roll in place. The tape is then manually unwound and threaded between the roller and two metal guide prongs so that the adhesive surface of the tape faces outward. While an individual holds down the flaps of a box with one hand, the other hand is used to press and pull the sealer along the length of the box's flaps, thus causing the tape to adhere to the flaps and sealing the box closed. The sealer is then tilted up so that the cutting blade cuts the tape from the roll.


What is the proper classification of the hand carton sealer under the HTSUS?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

The merchandise was entered under subheading 8479.89.90, HTSUS, which provides for: "[m]achines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts thereof: [o]ther machines and mechanical appliances: [o]ther: [o]ther." However, the entry was liquidated under subheading 8205.59.80, HTSUS, which provides for: "[o]ther handtools (including glass cutters) and parts thereof: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther."

Subheading 8422.30.90, HTSUS, provides for: "[m]achinery for filling, closing, sealing, capsuling or labeling bottles, cans, boxes, bags or other containers: [o]ther."

We disagree with the claim that the merchandise is classifiable under subheading 8205.59.80, HTSUS. Section XV, note 1(f), HTSUS, states that:

[t]his section does not cover:

(f) Articles of section XVI (machinery, mechanical appliances and electrical goods).

It is our position that the sealer is a mechanical appliance. The sealer features both a spring operated metal bar and a plastic roller. The bar is used to hold in place the roll of tape, and the plastic roller is used to apply force evenly across the width of the tape to ensure the tape seals tightly against the box flap. We find that both the bar and the roller are mechanical features. Therefore, under section XV, note 1(f), HTSUS, the sealer is precluded from classification under heading 8205, HTSUS.

The importer claims that HQ 086869, dated August 3, 1990, controls the classification of the subject sealer. In HQ 086869, a portable strapping dispenser, incorporating a brake, was held to be classifiable under heading 8479, HTSUS. However, in that ruling it was stated that:

[h]eading 8422 includes machines which perform 'packing or wrapping'. The strapping dispensers do not perform any packing or wrapping function. They simply provide a more efficient manner by which strapping materials may be utilized. Therefore, the dispensers with brakes cannot be classified under heading 8422 since the terms of the heading are not met.

Concerning the subject sealer, the terms of heading 8422, HTSUS, have been met. The sealer performs a "packing or wrapping" operation. Therefore, it is our position that the sealer is described under subheading 8422.30.90, HTSUS. See NY 846543, dated October 31, 1989, NY 849895, dated March 5, 1990, and NY 867321, dated October 17, 1989.

Because the sealer is included under heading 8422, HTSUS, it is precluded from classification under 8479, HTSUS.


The hand carton sealer is classifiable under subheading 8422.30.90, HTSUS, which provides for: "[m]achinery for filling, closing, sealing, capsuling or labeling bottles, cans, boxes, bags or other containers: [o]ther."

Because reclassification of the merchandise as indicated above will result in a lower rate of duty than claimed, you are instructed to grant the protest in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director

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