United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1998 HQ Rulings > HQ 960624 - HQ 960802 > HQ 960700

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 960700

August 15, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 960700 RH


TARIFF NO.: 9612.10.9010

Mr. Marc D. Torrence
Executive Project Manager
V. Alexander & Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 291929
Nashville, TN 37229-1929

RE: Classification of inked typewriter ribbon; heading 9612; computer printer ribbon; office equipment ribbon

Dear Mr. Torrence:

This is in reply to your letter dated June 20, 1997, on behalf of Kitamura USA Inc., requesting a ruling on the classification of an inked ribbon put up in a cartridge to be used in typewriters and similar equipment for printing.


The fabric for the ribbon is 100 percent woven nylon which is produced in Japan by Kitamura Manufacturing Company, Ltd. It will be sold and shipped to Kitamura International in Hong Kong where it will be slit to a width of 8 mm and "inked." The ribbon will be sold to a related company and shipped to various locations in the United States for incorporation into plastic cartridges. The cartridges will be suitable for use in electric typewriters, computer printers and other office machines.


What is the tariff classification of the subject ribbons?


Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Customs seeks guidance in interpreting the terms of the headings in the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN), which although not legally binding, are recognized as the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level.

The importer believes that the ribbons are classifiable under subheading 9612.10.90, HTSUSA, which encompasses typewriter or similar ribbons, inked or otherwise prepared for giving impressions, whether or not on spools or in cartridges.

The EN to heading 9612 reads, in part, as follows:

This heading covers:

(1) Ribbons, whether or not on spools or in cartridges, for typewriters, calculating machines, or for any other machines incorporating a device for printing by means of such ribbons (automatic balances, tabulating machines, teleprinters, etc.).

The heading also includes inked, etc., ribbons, usually having metal fixing fittings, used in barographs, thermographs, etc., to print and record the movement of the recording machine needle.

These ribbons are usually of woven textiles, but sometimes they are made of plastics or paper. To fall in the heading, they must have been inked or otherwise prepared to give impressions (e.g., of textile ribbons, or coating of plastics strip or paper with colouring matter, ink, etc.).

The merchandise in question clearly falls within the description of ribbons in heading 9612 and in the EN. It is made of woven textile material, inked and used in typewriters or other machines for printing. Accordingly, it is classifiable in that heading.


The inked ribbon put up in cartridges is classifiable in subheading 9612.10.9010, HTSUSA, which provides for "Typewriter or similar ribbons, inked or otherwise prepared for giving impressions, whether or not on spools or in cartridges; ink pads, whether or not inked, with or without boxes: Other." It is dutiable at the general column rate of 8.7 percent ad valorem, and the textile category is 621.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: