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HQ 955446

February 14, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955446 KCC


TARIFF NO.: 8214.20.90

Mr. Robert Persily
Freight Brokers International Inc.
1200 Brunswick Avenue
Far Rockaway, New York 11691

RE: Manicure set; containers of the type ordinarily sold at retail; EN 82.14

Dear Mr. Persily:

This is in response to your letter dated October 7, 1993, to Customs in New York, on behalf of La Cross Div. of Del Labs, regarding the tariff classification of a manicure set under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter and submitted sample were referred to this office for a response.


The manicure set contains the following five items:

Scissor for nails
Scissor for cuticles
Cuticle pusher/nail cleaner
2 emery boards

The items, other than the emery boards, appear to be made of stainless steel. You state that they will be packaged and sold to the ultimate purchasers in a plastic case. The back of the sample soft plastic case is constructed of a black vinyl and the front is constructed of a clear plastic which extends over the top opening of the case and folds down the back. The overlapping clear plastic front flap is then tucked into a clear plastic strip which runs along the black vinyl back forming a closure for the plastic case. The manicure implements are kept separate from one another by "sleeves" within the plastic case. The "sleeves" appear to have been formed by pressing and heating a portion of the clear plastic front to the black vinyl back so that the two components adhere to one another.


What is the tariff classification of the manicure set under the HTSUS?


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUS, states, in part, that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...."

Subheading 8214.20.90, HTSUS, provides for "Other articles of cutlery (for example, hair clippers, butchers' or kitchen cleavers, chopping or mincing knives, paper knives); manicure or pedicure sets and instruments (including nail files); base metal parts thereof...Manicure or pedicure sets and instruments (including nail files) and parts thereof...Manicure and pedicure sets, and combinations thereof, in leather cases or other containers of types ordinarily sold therewith in retail sales...Other."

There is no question that the items contained in the plastic case are those items normally found in a manicure set. However, the issue that arises is whether the plastic case is a type of container ordinarily sold with manicure implements in retail stores.

Manicure sets are generally sold in luggage or gift stores and consist of manicure implements in a durable container that usually accounts for a substantial part of the total value of the set. In this instance, the plastic case is not durable, but of a quality similar to plastic sheaths in which scissors are sold, and is of a low value compared to the manicure implements. Therefore, we must resolve whether the manicure set is classifiable under subheading 8214.20.90, HTSUS.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be utilized. The ENs, although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN 82.14 (pg. 1115), states that heading 8214, HTSUS, includes:

(2) Manicure or pedicure sets and instruments, including nail files (folding or not). Such instruments also include nail cleaners, corn-cutters, corn-extractors, cuticle cutting knives, cuticle pressers and pushers, nail nippers and clippers.

Manicure or pedicure sets usually contain such instruments in boxes, cases, etc., and may include scissors, non-metallic nail polishers, hair removing tweezers, etc., which, taken separately, would be classified in their appropriate headings.

This office is of the opinion that the soft plastic case is a type of container in which manicure sets are sold. Although it is not an expensive, sturdy or durable container, like leather, which one can find in a luggage or gift store, it is a typical inexpensive plastic container designed to hold manicure implements. Like the more sturdy and durable leather containers, the plastic case has a means, the created "sleeves", to hold the manicure implements in place and it has a closure mechanism to keep them from falling out of the case. The concept that all manicure set must have a sturdy and durable container similar to leather is not evidenced in subheading 8214.20.90, HTSUS, or in EN 82.14. It is noted that a separate tariff provision exists for manicure sets in the more sturdy and durable leather cases, subheading 8214.20.60, HTSUS. The manicure set under consideration is of the type classifiable under subheading 8214.20.90, HTSUS.


The manicure set is classified under subheading 8214.20.90, HTSUS, as other manicure and pedicure sets, and combinations thereof, in leather cases or other containers of types ordinarily sold therewith in retail sales, which is dutiable at the Column 1 rate of 8.1 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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