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HQ 955938

June 20, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955938 RFA


TARIFF NO.: 8213.00.30, 8213.00.90

Regional Commissioner of Customs c/o Protest and Control Section
6 World Trade Center, Room 761
New York, NY 10048-0945

RE: Protest No. 1001-93-108505; Scissors; Blister Packs; Goods put up in sets for retail sale; GRI 3(b); EN X to GRI 3(b); GRI 6

Dear District Director:

The following is our decision regarding the request for further review of Protest No. 1001-93-108505, which concerns the classification of a scissors blister pack under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The subject entry was liquidated on September 3, 1993. The protest was timely filed on December 2, 1993.


The subject merchandise is a blister pack containing 3 scissors of different sizes (8 inches, 5.75 inches, and 4.75 inches) from Hong Kong. The scissors are designed for cutting paper and light cardboard. All three scissors have plastic molded finger rings and steel blades which are dull and have rounded points.

The protestant states that the total value of the blister pack (packaging and scissors) is $0.30. The protestant also states that the prorated cost per piece including the cost of packaging is as follows: large scissors (8 inches) is $0.171; medium scissors (5.75 inches) is $0.086; and, small scissors (4.75 inches) is $0.043.

The scissors were entered separately under subheadings 8213.00.30 and 8213.00.90, HTSUS, depending on their value per dozen. The entry was liquidated as a set put up for retail sale under subheading 8213.00.90, HTSUS.

The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

8213.00: Scissors, tailors' shears and similar shears, and blades and other base metal parts thereof:

8213.00.30 Valued not over $1.75/dozen . . .

Goods classifiable under this provision have a general, column one rate of duty of $0.02 each + 5.1 percent ad valorem.

8213.00.90 Valued over $1.75/dozen: [o]ther. . . .

Goods classifiable under this provision have a general, column one rate of duty of $0.10 each + 10 percent ad valorem.


Whether three scissors sold in a blister pack are classified separately or as "goods put up in sets for retail sale" 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.

All parties agree that the merchandise is provided for under heading 8213, HTSUS. According to the information provided by the protestant, if entered separately, the large scissors would be classified under subheading 8213.00.90, HTSUS, as scissors valued over $1.75/dozen, and, the small and medium scissors would be classified under subheading 8213.00.30, HTSUS, as scissors valued not over $1.75/dozen.

The port classified the blister pack of the 3 scissors as "goods put up in sets for retail sale." The issue to be resolved then is classification of the merchandise at the subheading level. GRI 6 provides in pertinent part:

[f]or legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the above rules [GRI 1 to 5], on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable.

Based upon GRI 6, the classification principles enunciated in GRIs 1 thorough 5 apply to the subheadings of heading 8213, HTSUS. GRI 3(a) provides in pertinent part:

[t]he heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only . . . of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

Because the scissors fall under separate subheadings in the tariff schedule which describe only a portion of the blister pack, the subheadings are to be regarded as equally specific under GRI 3(a). Therefore, GRI 3(a) fails in establishing classification, and GRI 3(b) becomes applicable. GRI 3(b) provides that goods put up in sets for retail sale, shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.

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. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed.Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN X to GRI 3(b), page 4, provides as follows:

[f]or the purposes of this Rule, the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" shall be taken to mean goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings. Therefore, for example, six fondue forks cannot be regarded as a set within the meaning of this Rule;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards).

According to EN X to GRI 3(b), a set must consist of at least two different articles. In support of this position, the EN gives the example of six fondue forks which cannot be regarded as a "set" within the meaning of the rule as set forth above. The subject merchandise consists of three scissors packaged together. The only difference between them is the value of the individual scissors. We believe that this type of merchandise, like the six fondue fork example, does not meet the "sets" requirement of "consisting of at least two different articles." Because the scissors blister pack fails the first criteria for "goods put up in sets for retail sale", they cannot be classified as such. Therefore, the scissors in the blister pack should be classified separately according to their value per dozen.


The scissors are classifiable under subheadings 8213.00.30 and 8213.00.90, HTSUS, depending on their value per dozen.

The protest is GRANTED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, should be mailed by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Lexis, Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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