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HQ 961497

JULY 27, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 961497 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.98

Port Director of Customs
1624 E. 7th. Ave., Suite 101
Tampa, FL 33605

RE: PRD 1801-97-100144; System Humidor, Cigar Humidification System; Vented Plastic Tray with Foam Insert for Humidity Control; Article of Plastic, Humidity Regulator, Automatic Regulating or Controlling Instrument or Apparatus, Heading 9032

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 1801-97-100144, filed against your classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a device incorporated in a plastic box for controlling humidity. The entry was liquidated on November 7, 1997, and this protest timely filed on December 3, 1997.


The article under consideration, invoiced as a system humidor, is a plastic box incorporating a vented plastic tray with foam insert to form a cigar humidor. By adding or removing water to or from the foam, the user can control the level of humidity in the box. The system humidor and a bottle of mineral water are pictured in submitted literature inside a larger wood box which was a part of this importation. The classification of the larger box and mineral water is not in issue here. The invoice also lists hygrometers which actually measure humidity levels. However, these devices are available options, but were not a part of this importation. No sample was provided and there is no further description of this merchandise.

The system humidor was entered under a provision in HTS heading 9032, for automatic regulating or controlling instruments and apparatus. The protestant supports this classification on the basis that the foam insert component "regulates" the amount
of moisture in the humidor. You determined that the system humidor lacked measuring, controlling and starting/stopping devices required of goods of heading 9032. You liquidated the entry under an HTS provision for articles of plastics, in heading 3926.


Whether the system humidor is a good of heading 9032.


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.

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

Relevant ENs at p. 1660 list humidity regulators as goods of heading 9032. However, ENs on p. 1659 indicate that automatic control apparatus of heading 9032 form part of complete automatic control systems and consist essentially of a device for measuring the variable (flow, level, pressure, temperature, etc.) To be controlled, a control device for comparing the measured value with the desired value, and which also activates a starting/stopping device. The system humidor does not meet this description and is not a good of heading 9032.

Heading 3926 covers articles of plastics, not elsewhere specified or included in the HTSUS. In the absence of a more specific provision, the system humidor is provided for in heading 3926.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the system humidor is provided for in heading 3926. It is classifiable in subheading 3926.90.98, HTSUS.

The protest should be DENIED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you should mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and to the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, the Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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