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HQ 953320

May 4, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 953320 EAB


TARIFF NO.: 8505.19.00

Ms. Cleta J. Magyar
Impact International, Inc., Suite 208
1515 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, Florida 33432

RE: locker magnet frame; EN 85.05; GRI 3(b)

Dear Ms. Magyar:

This is in reply to your letters dated October 1 and November 11, 1992, in which you request a binding ruling on the classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was provided under cover of each letter.


For purposes of this ruling, we consider each sample to have the following characteristics: a permanently magnetized flexible rectangle composed of 90 percent ferrite powder and 10 percent rubber, adhering to which is a PVC printed sheet.

Differences between and other characteristics of the samples are inconsequential.


What is the classification under the HTSUSA of a flexible magnet made of 90 percent ferrite powder and 10 percent rubber, to which a self-adhesive sheet of printed PVC is permanently attached?


Merchandise imported into the U.S. is classified under the HTSUSA. Tariff classification is governed by the principles set forth in the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) and, in the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires, by the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation. The GRIs and the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation are part of the HTSUSA and are to be considered statutory provisions of law for all purposes.

GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's taken in order.

The Explanatory Notes (Ens) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System represent the official interpretation of the Customs Cooperation Council on the scope of each heading; although neither binding upon the contracting parties to the Harmonized System Convention nor considered to be dispositive interpretations, they should be consulted on the proper scope of the System.

Heading 8505 describes permanent magnets. EN 85.05(2) indicates that "permanent magnets consist of * * * materials (e.g. barium ferrite agglomerated with plastics or synthetic rubber) which have been rendered permanently magnetic. . . Permanent magnets remain classified here whatever their use * * *." Further on, EN 85.05 cautions that "permanent magnets or magnetic devices of this heading, when presented with machines, apparatus, toys, games, etc. of which they are designed to form [a] part [are to be] (classified with those machines, apparatus, etc.)."

Customs has classified under various headings other than 8505 certain permanent magnets, not as magnets, but as composite articles that are magnetized ceramic or metallic articles since the presence of a magnetized ceramic or metallic component imparts to the article its essential character.

Those previous rulings do not conform to our present understanding of the tariff and its related explanatory notes. We are no longer of the opinion that permanently magnetized iron, steel, or ceramic metallic articles which have the obviously essential utilitarian function of magnetism are other than permanent magnets of heading 8505. It is not the metal or ceramic component that provides the essential character to this article. It is the magnetism. EN 85.05 demonstrates that "permanent magnets" of any material are classifiable under the main heading, principal subheadings of which distinguish permanent magnets of metal and permanent magnets of materials other than metal. Furthermore, the balance of EN 85.05 setting forth the caveat that permanent magnets presented with machines, etc. of which they are designed to form part, is not applicable in this case since these goods have not been "presented with" any other article; they have been presented alone and stand uniquely as permanent magnets.

Restated, we are of the opinion that a magnetic flexible locker picture frame is a permanent magnet, as that term is interpreted in EN 85.05, to-wit: it consists of materials such as barium ferrite agglomerated with synthetic rubber that have been rendered permanently magnetic. We have noted the presence of the PVC printed adhesive strip to indicate that, as in HRL 083195, supra, such a composite good is not classifiable under chapter 39, HTSUSA.


Flexible magnets made of 90 percent ferrite powder and 10 percent rubber, to which a self-adhesive sheet of printed PVC is permanently attached, are classifiable under subheading 8505.19.00, HTSUSA, a provision for "electromagnets; permanent magnets and articles intended to become permanent magnets after magnetization; * * * ; parts thereof: permanent magnets and articles intended to become permanent magnets after magnetization: Other", and are dutiable at the column one general rate of 4.9 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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