United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1994 HQ Rulings > HQ 0955232 - HQ 0955297 > HQ 0955245

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 955245

November 12, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955245 SK


TARIFF NO.: 4820.10.2010

Mr. Johnson
Davies, Turner & Co.
113 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-3092

RE: Modification of NYRL 878352 (9/22/92); classification of diaries; day or week planners; organizers; address books; engagement books; date books; heading 4820, HTSUSA; HRL 089960 (2/10/92); HRL 953413 (3/29/93).

Dear Mr. Johnson:

On September 22, 1992, the New York office of the U.S. Customs Service issued you New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 878352 in which an agenda, also referred to as a date book, was classified under subheading 4820.10.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Upon review, this office deems that ruling to be in error. Our analysis follows.


The article the subject of NYRL 878352 is a folder completely covered with red textile material with black textile trim. It closes by means of a snap closure attached to the end of a strap. In its unfolded state it measures approximately 13 inches by 8 1/2 inches. Closed it measures approximately 8 1/2 inches by 6 inches by 1 1/4 inches. The folder was imported containing stationary components which slip into the interior pockets of the folder. These items consist of a note pad, an engagement calendar and an address/telephone book.


Whether the article at issue is classifiable under subheading 4820.10.4000, HTSUSA, as an article similar to registers, account books, notebooks receipt books and diaries, or whether classification is proper as a diary under subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise 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 shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's.

Heading 4820, HTSUSA, provides for, in pertinent part, notebooks, memorandum pads, diaries and similar articles. At issue is whether the subject merchandise fits the definition of "diary" or whether the article is more aptly described as similar to a diary; this distinction governs classification of the subject merchandise at the eight digit level within heading 4820, HTSUSA.

In HRL 089960, dated February 10, 1992, and in HRL 953413, dated March 29, 1993 (which partially affirmed the holding in HRL 951736, dated September 17, 1992, and concurred with the finding that day planners, organizers and the like were properly deemed to be a form of "diary"), Customs relied on lexicographic sources in making the determination as to what constituted a diary. The term "dairy" is defined in the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, 1987, as:

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's 953413 and 089960, this office held that articles known as daily planners/calendars and agendas fit the definition of "diary" as set forth in the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Similarly, this office is of the opinion that the agenda the subject of NYRL 878352 also fits squarely within the perimeters of this definition. The engagement calendar facilitates daily record keeping (we note that not all methods of record keeping require significant amounts of writing space as is normally associated with traditional diaries in which the minutia of daily life is recorded in detail). The note pad similarly allows for record keeping and jottings and the address book provides a place to keep names, addresses and telephone numbers in a convenient and organized manner.

It is this office's position that the analysis set forth in HRL 089960 is correct and applies to the article currently under review. Accordingly, the agenda the subject of NYRL 878352 is classifiable as a bound diary under subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA.


NYRL 878352 is modified.

The agenda is classifiable under subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, bound diaries and address books dutiable at a rate of 4 percent ad valorem. There is no textile quota category applicable to the merchandise at this time.

In order to ensure uniformity in Customs' classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, pursuant to section 177.9(d)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(d)(1)), NYRL 878352 is modified to reflect the above classification effective with the date of this letter.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: