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HQ 958067

JANUARY 4, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC: MM 958067 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8214.90.90

Thomas P. Ondeck, Esq.
Baker & McKenzie
815 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006-4078

RE: NY 808249 Revoked; Hand-Held Instrument With Curved Handles and Short Cutting Blades for Trimming Cuticles; Articles of Cutlery; Manicure or Pedicure Instruments, Subheading 8214.20.30

Dear Mr. Ondeck:

In NY 808249, dated April 21, 1995, the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, held that certain cuticle nippers from Italy were classifiable in subheading 8214.20.30, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as cuticle or cornknives, cuticle pushers, nail files, nailcleaners, nail nippers and clippers, all the foregoing used for manicure or pedicure purposes.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY 808249 was published on November 29, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29 , Number 48.


As described in NY 808249, the article in question is a hand-held device, 4 inches long, with curved handles and a bar spring that returns the cutting jaws to an open position. In both half-jaw and full-jaw configuration, the jaws are « inch long while the actual cutting edges are 1/4 inch long and are angled and convex. The designation on the package is full-jaw and half-jaw Cuticle Nippers. On the reverse, the user is cautioned against using the nippers for cutting and clipping nails.

You maintain the cuticle nippers cannot be classified in subheading 8214.20.30 because the articles considered to be manicure or pedicure instruments under that subheading are listed eo nomine, by name. Cuticle nippers are not among the instruments listed. You cite various court cases under the HTSUS predecessor tariff code, the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), for the proposition that an eo nomine provision includes only the items enumerated in that provision. In addition, you maintain that a superior heading encompassing manicure or pedicure sets and instruments cannot be enlarged by the language of inferior subheading 8214.20.30 to include cuticle nippers. You conclude that the provision for other articles of cutlery, in subheading 8214.90.90, represents the proper classification.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8214 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:

8214.20 Manicure or pedicure sets and instruments (including nail files), and parts thereof:

8214.20.30 Cuticle or cornknives, cuticle pushers, nail files, nailcleaners, nail nippers and clippers, all the foregoing used for manicure or pedicure purposes, and parts thereof...7.2 percent

8214.90 Other:

8214.90.90 Other (including parts)...1.9 cents each + 4.3 percent


Whether cuticle nippers are manicure or pedicure instruments for tariff purposes.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 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, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6. - 3 -

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the Ens provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

The scope of subheading 8214.20.30 is best determined by applying the rule of statutory construction that the expression of one or more things implies the exclusion of all others. That is, in subheading 8214.20.30 the absence of words "and the like," "among others" or similar indications that the named exemplars are not intended to be exclusive, is an indication that the provision should be interpreted to exclude other articles not specifically named. For this reason, cuticle nippers are not regarded as manicure or pedicure instruments under this provision.


Under the authority of GRI 1, half-jaw and full-jaw cuticle nippers, as described, are provided for in heading 8214. They are classifiable in subheading 8214.90.90, HTSUS.


NY 808249, dated April 21, 1995, is hereby revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1) does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification

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