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HQ 960153





May 15, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:FC 960153 MMC

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

TARIFF NO.: 3926.10

Mr. Terry M. Kane
Rochelle's, Inc.
Sunset Ridge Business Park
5841 Cedar Lake Road, Suite 202
Minneapolis, MN 55416

RE: NYRL 858291 revoked; pencil boxes; EN 39.26

Dear Mr. Kane:

On December 20, 1990, we issued New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 858291, in which we classified plastic pencil boxes under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). According to NYRL 858291, the subject articles are classifiable under heading 3923, HTS, as "Articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics; stoppers, lids, caps and other closures, of plastics." Upon further examination, we are of the opinion that the pencil boxes are properly classified under subheading 3926.10, HTS, which provides for "Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: Office or school supplies."

Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), 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) (hereinafter section 625), notice of a proposed revocation of NYRL 858291 was published on April 2, 1997, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 31, Number 14. No comments were received in response to the notice.

FACTS:

The pencil boxes are made of molded plastics. One of the "boxes" is shaped like a robot. All of the boxes contain a series of drawers and novelty compartments, as well as built-in pencil sharpeners and a magnifying lens. Two of the styles have built-in thermometers.

ISSUE:

Whether the pencil boxes are classifiable as containers or as personal articles.

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Classification under the HTS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes.

In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied. For the purposes of this rule, the relative section, chapter and subchapter notes also apply, unless the context otherwise requires. The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRIs.

The headings under consideration are:

3923 Articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics; stoppers, lids, caps and other closures, of plastics.

3926 Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914.

In HRLs 953177 dated April 7, 1993, 954072 dated September 2, 1993, 954816 dated December 7, 1993, 957894 and 957895 both dated December 14, 1995, 955660 dated September 27, 1994, 955047 dated October 6, 1994, and 958174 dated January 31, 1996, Customs indicated that heading 3923, HTS, provides for cases and containers of bulk goods and commercial goods, not personal articles. As the pencil boxes transport pens, pencils, erasers, etc. for personal use, they are not described by heading 3923, HTS.

The ENs to 3926 indicate that:

This heading covers articles, not elsewhere specified or included, of plastics (as defined in Note 1 to the Chapter) or of other materials of headings 39.01 to 39.14.

They include:

They include:

(4) Dust-sheets, protective bags, awnings, file-covers, document-jackets, book covers and reading jackets, and similar protective goods made by sewing or glueing together sheets of plastics.

(5) Paperweights, paper-knives, blotting-pads, pen-rests, book-marks, etc.

(10) Tool boxes or cases, not specially shaped or internally fitted to contain particular tools with or without their accessories (see the Explanatory Note to heading 42.02).

(11) Various other articles such as fasteners for handbags, corners for suit-cases, suspension hooks, protective cups and glides for placing under furniture, handles (of tools, knives, forks, etc.), beads, watch "glasses", figures and letters, luggage label-holders.

The pencil boxes, which are most likely school supplies, are described by heading 3926, HTS, because they have substantial similarities to the articles listed in EN 39.26 and therefore belong to the same class or kind of articles. The pencil boxes are classifiable under heading 3926, HTS, specifically, subheading 3926.10, HTS, which provides for "Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: Office or school supplies."

HOLDING:

The pencil boxes are classifiable under subheading 3926.10, HTS, which provides for "Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: Office or school supplies" and has a column one duty rate of 5.3 percent.

NYRL 858291 is hereby revoked. In accordance with 19 U. S. C. ?1625, 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 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)).

Sincerely,

John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Division

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