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HQ 961435

MARCH 26, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 961435 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 4202.11.00, 8214.20.30, 8510.20.00

Mr. Edward L. Hart, Jr.
V. Alexander & Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 30250
Memphis, Tennessee 38118-1556

RE: Men's Grooming Kit; Manicure and Grooming Implements With Nose Hair Remover; Comb, Nail File, Scissors, Tweezers, Clippers, Razor, Cuticle Cutter/Pusher, Tooth Brush, Corkscrew/Bottle Opener/Knife, Zippered Leather Case; Goods Put Up in Sets for Retail Sale, GRI 3(b); HQ 950332

Dear Mr. Hart:

In a letter to the Director, Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, dated January 23, 1998, on behalf of The Sharper Image Corporation, you request a classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), on the DM900 Men's Grooming Kit. Your ruling request has been referred to this office for reply.


A submitted sample of the DM900 consists of a zippered black carrying case of genuine leather containing the following implements, each with its own elastic loop: plastic comb, stainless steel nail file, scissors, tweezers, toenail clipper, fingernail clipper, tooth brush, cuticle pusher/cutter, razor with blade, razor blades, corkscrew/knife/bottle opener, and rapid Groomer, a battery-operated nose hair remover.


Whether the components of the DM900 Men's Grooming Kit are put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity.


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. GRI 3(b) states, in part, that goods put up in sets for retail sale shall be classified as if consisting of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criteria is applicable.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding, 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).

Initially, manicure or pedicure sets in leather containers are provided for in subheading 8214.20.60, HTSUS. Relevant ENs at p. 1209 state that such sets usually contain instruments such as nail cleaners,, corn-cutters, corn-extractors, cuticle cutting knives, cuticle pressers and pushers, nail nippers and clippers. The presence of the razor, blades, tooth brush and corkscrew/ bottle opener/knife remove the Men's Grooming Kit from consideration as a manicure or pedicure set under GRI 1.

With respect to the issue of "sets" under GRI 3(b), relevant ENs, at p. 4 under the caption RULE 3(b), state:

(X) For purposes of this Rule, the term
"goods put up in sets for retail sale" shall be taken to mean goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards).

The ENs direct that for goods not meeting the "sets" criteria each item is to be classified separately in its own appropriate heading. In this case it is apparent that the Men's Grooming Kit satisfies criteria (a) and (c). With respect to criteria (b), nearly all of the implements in the Men's Grooming Kit perform or facilitate either cosmetic care of the fingers and toes or some type of facial grooming. In our opinion, general personal grooming is neither a particular need nor a specific activity for purposes of criteria (b). More importantly, the corkscrew/knife/ bottle opener does not relate to cosmetic care or grooming of any kind. In our opinion, the Men's Grooming Kit fails criteria (b) and is not a set under GRI 3(b). Each component must be separately classified.

Customs traditionally classifies collections of similarly diverse articles individually. For example, a collection of articles in a zippered vinyl bag, to include, among other things, an emergency blanket, first aid booklet, flashlight, packs of aspirin tablets, sewing needle, de-icing fluid, safety pins, pliers, etc. - for use in motor vehicles for road emergencies - was held not to qualify as a set for tariff purposes because roadside emergencies are not a particular need or specific activity under GRI 3(b). See HQ 950332, dated December 30, 1991, and cases cited.


The DM900 Men's Grooming Kit is not a set for tariff purposes. Under GRI 1, each of the articles included in the Kit is to be classified as follows:

The zippered leather case in subheading
4202.11.00, HTSUS, at 8 percent ad valorem;

The tweezers in subheading 8203.20.20, HTSUS, dutiable at 4.8 percent ad valorem;

The corkscrew/knife/bottle opener in subheading 8211.93.00, HTSUS, at 3 cents each + 5.4 percent ad valorem;

The razor with blade and the blades, both in subheading 8212.20.00, HTSUS, at 0.01 cent each + 0.4 percent ad valorem;

The scissors in subheadings 8213.00.30 or 8213.00.90, HTSUS, depending on value, dutiable, respectively, at 1.8 cents each + 4.5 percent ad valorem and 7.2 cents each + 7.2 percent ad valorem;

The nail file, toenail clipper, fingernail clipper, and cuticle cutter/pusher, all being used for manicure or pedicure purposes, in subheading 8214.20.30, HTSUS, at 4.8 percent ad valorem;

The rapid groomer in subheading 8510.20.00, HTSUS, at 4 percent ad valorem;

The toothbrush in subheading 9603.21.00, HTSUS, at 0.7 percent ad valorem; and

The comb in subheadings 9615.11.10, 9615.11.20 or 9615.11.30, HTSUS, depending on value, dutiable, respectively, at 14.4 cents/gross + 2 percent ad valorem, 5.7 percent ad valorem, and 28.8 cents/gross + 4.6 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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