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 0955514 - HQ 0955613 > HQ 0955613

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 955613

February 1, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955613 RFA


TARIFF NO.: 8213.00.90

Mr. Leo Sarmiento
Trans-Border Customs Services, Inc.
Building #75, Room 226
JFK International Airport
North Hanger Road
Jamaica, NY 11430

RE: Pocket Clipper/Scissor; Scissors Without Finger Rings; Spring Handle Scissors; EN 82.13; NYs 883933, 881515, and 851899

Dear Mr. Sarmiento:

In a letter dated December 3, 1993, to the Regional Commissioner of Customs in New York, you inquired on behalf of Sbar's Inc., as to the tariff classification of a pocket/clipper scissor under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter and the sample scissors were referred to this office for a response.


The pocket clipper/scissor, except for the cutting blades, is made in Taiwan entirely of plastic. It is shaped like a small, tubular fountain pen with a pocket clip, measuring 4 1/4 inches in length. When the plastic top is removed , the two blades spring apart. A scissor cutting action is achieved by alternately squeezing together and releasing the two pivoted halves of the tubular body of the merchandise. The import value of the merchandise is $0.39.


Is the pocket clipper/scissor with no finger rings classifiable as a scissor under the HTSUS?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the HTSUS. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. EN 82.13, page 1114, provides as follows:

The scissors classified in this heading consist of two superimposed blades, sometimes serrated, articulated on a screw or pin near the center. In general the heading covers only those scissors in which each blade is fitted, at one end, with a finger ring. The blades may be in one piece, or consist of jointed cutting blades and handles.

The heading also includes certain types of scissors hinged at one end and with a single finger ring (used mainly in the textile industry).

The heading includes, inter alia:

(1) Ordinary scissors for domestic or office use, or for sewing, etc., with straight or curved blades. . . .

Even though the subject merchandise does not have finger rings, we find that EN 82.13 does not limit or restrict this particular type of article, which operates with a spring-like cutting action, to be precluded from consideration under heading 8213, HTSUS. The reference to finger rings in EN 82.13 is qualified by the use of the phrase "in general", and therefore, is not a mandatory requirement for classification purposes. The issue to be resolved in such cases is whether the merchandise meets the definition of a scissor even though it does not have finger rings.

A tariff term that is not defined in the HTSUS or in the EN's is construed in accordance with its common and commercial meaning. Nippon Kogasku (USA) Inc. v. United States, 69 CCPA 89, 673 F.2d 380 (1982). Common and commercial meaning may be determined by consulting dictionaries, lexicons, scientific authorities and other reliable sources. C.J. Tower & Sons v. United States, 69 CCPA 128, 673 F.2d 1268 (1982). Webster's New Riverside University Dictionary defines scissors, page 1046, as a "cutting implement having two blades joined by a pin that allows the cutting edges to be opened and closed."

We find that the merchandise which allows two blades, joined by a pin, to be opened and closed by spring-type cutting action meets the definition of scissors. See NY 883933, dated April 22, 1993; NY 881515, dated January 15, 1993; NY 851899, dated May 21, 1990. Therefore, the pocket/clipper scissors are classifiable under subheading 8213.00.90, HTSUS, which provides for: "[s]cissors, tailors' shears and similar shears, and blades and other base metal parts thereof: [v]alued over $1.75/dozen: [o]ther. . . . "


The pocket/clipper scissor is classifiable under subheading 8213.00.90, HTSUS, which provides for other scissors. The general, column one rate of duty is $0.10 each plus 10.0 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: