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HQ 960542

October 7, 1997

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 960542 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 4820.10.2010

Lisa Levaggi Borter, Esquire
Meeks & Sheppard
330 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10017

RE: Modification of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 089960; Heading 4820; Diaries; Planners; Organizers; Agendas; Inserted Bound Components; HQ 953413 (March 29, 1993)

Dear Ms. Borter:

In HQ 089960, issued February 10, 1992, this office classified three styles of leather agendas. Two of the articles, style numbers 12-746 and 12-749, were classified in subheading 4820.10.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for "Registers...diaries and similar articles: Other [than bound]." We have reviewed that ruling and, with respect to style nos. 12-746 and 12-749, have found it to be partially in error. Therefore, this ruling modifies HQ 089960.

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 modification of HQ 089960, was published on August 27, 1997, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 31, Number 35.


At the time HQ 089960 was issued, the samples were referred to as leather agendas. Style nos. 12-746 and 12-749 were each composed of a leather-covered, paperboard binder, into which -2-
components consisting of a calendar/planner, an address/ telephone book, and a blank note pad, were inserted.


Whether the fact that bound components intended to facilitate daily record keeping are inserted into the interior slots or pockets of a binder precludes classification of the entire article as a bound diary in subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined 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 GRI may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

Chapter 48, HTSUS, covers paper and paperboard; articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard. Among other merchandise, heading 4820, HTSUS, covers notebooks, letter pads, memorandum pads, diaries and similar articles, binders (looseleaf or other), folders, etc. The EN to heading 4820 indicate that "[t]he goods of this heading may be bound with materials other than paper (e.g., leather, plastics or textile material) and have reinforcements or fittings of metal, plastics, etc." Both style nos. 12-746 and 12-749 are covered by heading 4820, HTSUS.

Each of the leather agendas includes a calendar/planner. Customs has consistently cited to lexicographic sources in determining what constitutes a diary, as opposed to an article that is similar to a diary. The term "diary" is defined in the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, 1987, as:

2. A book prepared for keeping a daily record, or having spaces with printed dates for daily memoranda and jottings; also applied to calendars containing daily memoranda on matters of importance to people generally or to members of a particular profession, occupation, or pursuit. -3-

Each leather agenda's calendar/planner provides the means to record and store daily notations and to organize a schedule. Guided by judicial precedent and the EN referenced above, Customs has also consistently held that inserts which are secured by ring binders are "bound" for classification purposes.

In HQ 953413, issued March 29, 1993, this office confronted the issue of whether certain agendas, planners, organizers, diaries, and address books - in which bound components are slipped into interior slots or pockets - are properly classified as bound diaries. HQ 953413 modified HQ 951736, issued September 17, 1992, which had incorrectly held that "since the subject planner/calendars and address books slip into pockets within the covers, Customs does not consider the articles bound." With respect to that erroneous holding, we stated in HQ 953413, that:

Upon review, we find that to be an inaccurate statement. An article that is otherwise bound does not become "unbound" merely by virtue of being inserted into a slot of a folder.

HQ 951736 was thereby modified and the merchandise was held to be properly classified in subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA. From early 1993 to the present, Customs has consistently held that similar goods with inserted bound components are classified in the provision for bound diaries. In light of the foregoing, we find that the leather agendas identified by style nos. 12-746 and 12-749 are properly classified as bound diaries in subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA.

There are a small number of aberrant rulings in addition to HQ 089960, in which comparable goods having inserted components have been erroneously classified in subheading 4820.10.4000, HTSUSA. See HQ 088791, issued March 19, 1992, HQ 951076, issued March 18, 1992, and HQ 950984, issued January 27, 1992. Action is being taken to modify or revoke those rulings as well.


The leather agendas identified by style numbers 12-746 and 12-749 are classified in subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUSA, which provides for "Registers...diaries and similar articles: Diaries, notebooks and address books, bound..., Diaries and address books." The general column one duty rate is 2.8 percent ad valorem. -4-

HQ 089960, issued February 10, 1992, is hereby modified.

In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days from its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR


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