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HQ 953172

March 19, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953172 ch


TARIFF NO.: 4820.10.2010

David A. Eisen
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
43rd Floor
New York, NY 10036

RE: Classification of a bound diary and address book.

Dear Mr. Eisen:

This is in response to your letter of December 4, 1992, requesting tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for the "Floral Gardens Planner." A sample was provided to our office for examination and will be returned under separate cover.


The subject merchandise is a daily planner consisting of a metal six-ring binder mechanism permanently mounted inside a tri- section folder. The binder mechanism is designed to hold numerous paper inserts. These inserts are mostly blank sheets of paper which have been lined and captioned to facilitate the entry of various handwritten notations, and are grouped into several sections by means of tabbed dividers. The sections include daily and yearly engagement calendars, personal records and reminders inserts and a daily telephone/address directory. An appointment/to do memo pad may be slipped into a pocket inside the vinyl cover. The planner also features a "Velcro" closure.


Whether the "Floral Gardens Planner" is classified under subheading 4820.10.4000, which provides for other articles similar to diaries, or subheading 4820.10.2010, which provides for bound diaries?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). 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 on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied in order.

Heading 4820, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, notebooks, order books, letter pads, memorandum pads, diaries and similar articles. The term "diary" is defined in the Compact Edition of the Oxford Dictionary (1987) as:

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.

The instant planner contains features, such as engagement calendars, a telephone/address directory, and a personal reminder section, that render it suitable for daily recordkeeping, memoranda and jottings. In the past, we have ruled that merchandise similar to the subject item is classified as a "diary" under heading 4820. See HRL 089960, dated February 10, 1992, HRL 951076, dated March 18, 1992, HRL 952691, dated January 11, 1993. Accordingly, the "Floral Gardens Planner" is classifiable under heading 4820.

In HRL 952691, we stated:

Customs has consistently determined that merchandise such as the submitted sample is classifiable in heading 4820, HTSUSA. When classifying such an article at the international level, Customs looks to whether the article at issue is bound. If the article is bound, it is classifiable as a diary under subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA, if it is not bound, it is classifiable as an article similar to a diary under subheading 4820.10.4000, HTSUSA.

In that ruling, we found that a daily planner secured by a metal three-ring binder was a bound diary under the HTSUSA. Similarly, in HRL 089960 we found that a leather agenda held together by a ring binder was a bound diary. As the instant merchandise is substantially similar to the items that were the subject of HRL 089960 and HRL 952691, and the vast majority of the inserts are secured by a six-ring binder, it is to be classified as a bound diary under subheading 4820.10.2010.


The subject merchandise is classifiable under subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA, which provides for registers, account books, notebooks, order books, receipt books, letter pads, memorandum pads, diaries and similar articles: diaries, notebooks, and address books, bound; 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) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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