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HQ 955214

January 28, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955214 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 4820.10.2010

Terrie Hanrahan
Hallmark Cards Incorporated
Kansas City, Missouri 64141

RE: Classification of a spiral bound book; day planner/agenda; organizer; similar to a diary;
Heading 4820

Dear Ms. Hanrahan:

This is in response to your inquiry of September 30, 1993, requesting a tariff classification for an item described as a "Floral Desk Appointment Book", under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted for examination.


The article in question is a spiral-bound book described as Stock No. 1095 HDA 1743. The pages on the right side of the book are marked off with seven rectangular spaces for each day of the week. The rectangular spaces are approximately 1" x 6" each and are intended for the user to note daily reminders, appointments, etc. The pages on the left side of the book contain garden illustrations.


Whether the article in question is classifiable as a diary under subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA, or as articles similar to registers, account books, notebooks, receipt books, and diaries under subheading 4820.10.4000, HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's taken in order.

Heading 4820, HTSUSA, provides for, in relevant part, notebooks, memorandum pads, diaries and similar articles. The question Customs must address is whether the instant article fits within the definition of "diary" and is classifiable as such or whether it does not fit squarely within the category for "diaries" in the nomenclature, and is classifiable as similar to a "diary".

In your submission, you state that the instant article is not a diary and should be classifiable under subheading 4820.10.4000, HTSUSA, as similar to a diary. You refer to Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 085151, dated November 9, 1989, in which Customs classified an engagement book under this subheading. As Customs informed you in regard to a similar ruling request in HRL 955199 of January 24, 1994, HRL 085151 was modified by HRL 955253, dated November 10, 1993, and the engagement book therein was subsequently classified as a diary under subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA.

As stated in HRL 955199, Customs looked to various lexicographic sources as guidance in determining what types of articles constituted a "diary". In HRL 089660, dated February 10, 1992, Customs referred to the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, 1987, which defined the term "diary" as the following:

2. 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.

In HRL 955199 and 089660, the articles at issue were what are commercially known as daily planners/calendars. In both of these rulings, Customs concluded that the daily planner/calendar at issue therein fit within the definition of "diary" in accordance with the cited lexicographic source and was classifiable as a diary.

In this case, the subject book is basically a daily, weekly, or monthly planner. There is an allotted space for the recordation of events, notes, or any other relevant writings by the user. The primary function of the instant article fits squarely within the definition of "diary" provided in the cited dictionary. Consequently, Stock No. 1095 HDA 1743 is classifiable as a bound diary in subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA. This is in accordance with the aforementioned rulings which also classified the goods therein in subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA.


Based on the foregoing, Stock No. 1095 HDA 1743 is classifiable in subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA, which provides for bound diaries and address books. The 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 applicable to textile merchandise, you should contact your 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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