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HQ 955249

November 12, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955249 SK


TARIFF NO.: 4820.10.2010; 4820.10.2020

Mr. Domek
World Commerce Systems Ltd.
P.O. Box 66593, O'Hare Field
Chicago, IL 60666

RE: Modification of NYRL 872985 (4/16/92); classification of diaries; day or week planners; organizers; address books; engagement books; heading 4820, HTSUSA; HRL 089960 (2/10/92); HRL 953413 (3/29/93).

Dear Mr. Domek:

On April 16, 1992, the New York office of the U.S. Customs Service issued you New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 872985 in which various leather articles were classified under subheadings 4820.10.2020 and 4820.10.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Upon review, this office deems that ruling to be partially in error. Our analysis follows.


Six articles were classified in NYRL 872985 and are described as follows:

Sample 1) is referred to as a "Leather Executive Gift Set." It is comprised of a leather Bifold Portfolio, a Pocket Agenda/Address Book, and a Multipocket Cardholder;

Sample 2) is referred to as a "Leather Writing Pad" which consists of a leather Bifold Portfolio measuring approximately 12 1/2 inches by 9 1/2 inches by 1 inch. The folio incorporates a paper note pad which is inserted into an interior slot;

Sample 3) is referred to as a "Leather Agenda." It measures approximately 9 inches by 7 inches in its closed condition and is imported containing an inserted, spiral-bound "Weekly Planner", a blank note pad, a pen and a thin solar-powered calculator;

Sample 4) is also a "Leather Desk Agenda." It consists of a bifold portfolio with a strap and snap closure and measures approximately 8 1/2 inches by 6 inches when closed. Inserted into the leather folder is a spiral-bound Executive Planner (17 months), a spiral-bound address book, and a note pad;

Sample 5) is materially like Sample 4 except that it has no closure and it measures approximately 6 3/4 inches by 3 3/4 inches. The inserted address book is staple-bound;

Sample 6) is similar to Sample 5 except that it measures approximately 5 inches by 3 inches, does not contain a note pad, and the Executive Planner covers 12 months.


Whether the subject merchandise is classifiable under subheadings 4820.10.2020 and 4820.10.4000, HTSUSA, or whether classification is proper as bound diaries 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. There is no question that classification of these articles is proper within this heading. The issue, however, is whether the subject merchandise fits the definition of "diary" or whether the articles are 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 samples the subject of NYRL 872985, with the exception of Sample 2, fit squarely within the perimeters of this definition. Sample 2's classification in NYRL 872985 is affirmed; the article is most aptly provided for in subheading 4820.10.2020, HTSUSA, which covers "memorandum pads, letter pads and similar articles." Samples 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6, however, are classifiable as diaries. The agendas contained in Samples 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6, also known as weekly planners or executive planners, facilitate 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 telephone/address books contained in Samples 1, 4, 5 and 6 provide a place to keep names, addresses and telephone numbers in a convenient and organized manner. The note pads contained in Samples 3, 4, 5 and 6 also provide a place for record keeping and jottings.

It is this office's position that the analysis set forth in HRL 089960 is correct and applies to the articles (with the exception of Sample 2) currently under review. Accordingly, the articles referenced Samples 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are classifiable as bound diaries of subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA.

Sample 2 remains classifiable under subheading 4820.10.2020, HTSUSA.


NYRL 872985 is modified in part.

Samples 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are 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.

Sample 2 is classifiable under subheading 4820.10.2020, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, bound memorandum pads, letter pads and similar articles," dutiable at 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 872985 is modified to reflect the above classification effective with the date of this letter.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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