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HQ 960158

May 15, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:FC 960158 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 3926.10

Ms. Mona Webster, Import Customs Specialist Target Stores
33 South Sixth Street
P.O. Box 1392
Minneapolis, MN 55440-1392

RE: HRL 084715, NYRLs 863506, 863509 revoked; Stationery Kits; EN 39.26

Dear Ms. Webster :

On August 24, 1989, we issued Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084715 and New York Ruling Letters (NYRLs) 863506 and 863509. In each we classified Stationery Kits under heading 3923 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). In HRL 084715 and NYRLs 863509 and 863506 you were advised that the pencil box and pouch provided the essential character of the stationery kits. While we continue to believe this is the case, upon further examination, we are of the opinion that the pencil boxes and pouches are properly classified under heading 3926, HTS, which provides for "Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914."

Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 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 NYRLs 863506, 863509 and HRL 084715 was published on April 2, 1997, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 31, Number 14. No comments were received in response to the notice.


The articles are described as "stationery kits." Two kits consist of a molded plastic box, and a combination of other supplies including pencils, a pencil sharpener, an eraser, plastic clips, a small memo pad, and a ruler with comb teeth on one edge and six stencil shapes carved out of the body. The box has two compartments which house the remaining articles. The third kit contains a combination of supplies which are held in a loose leaf pencil pouch. The pencil box kits are packaged for retail sale covered with clear plastic and attached to a cardboard backing.


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


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 and pouches 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:

(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 and pouches, 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 and pouches 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."


The stationery kits 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 ad valorem.

HRL 084715 and NYRLs 863506 and 863509 are 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)).


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Division

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