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NY 886745

June 24 1993

CLA-2-82:S:N:N3:115 886745


TARIFF NO.: 8207.90.6000; 8211.93.0060

Mr. David A. Eisen
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
43rd Floor
New York, New York 10036

RE: The tariff classification of a leather holster from China and/or Taiwan.

Dear Mr. Eisen:

In your letter dated May 27, 1993, you requested a tariff classification ruling, on behalf of your client, Avon Products, Inc., located at NY, NY. Your submitted sample will be returned to you as requested.

The merchandise at issue consists of an adjustable ratchet driver, 10 interchangeable screwdriver bits, and an "Exacto" razor blade knife, all of which fit into individual compartments of a leather holster. The ratchet driver is constructed of steel and a rigid plastic frame with a rubber grip handle. The driver can hold any of the 10 interchangeable screwdriver bits within its metal extension. The "Exacto" razor blade knife measures approximately 6 inches in length and has a metal frame construction. It features a button-like device, which when depressed and slid forward, pushes the hidden razor blade into an exposed and usable position. The leather holster has slit openings designed to be attached and secured to a user's belt. In addition, there are 12 compartments on the holster. Ten compartments are specifically designed to accommodate the interchangeable bits. One of the remaining two compartments can only accommodate the knife, while the one remaining compartment holds the driver. The holster is therefore specially shaped and fitted to contain and store the aforementioned contents and GRI 5 is applicable.

The following synopsis discusses the pertinent rules utilized in the classification of imported articles. The General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System (GRI) govern classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. According to GRI 1, the primary consideration in determining whether merchandise should be classified in a heading should be given to the language of the heading and any relevant chapter or section notes, and, providing such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the remaining GRI, taken in order.

Because no heading by itself covers the subject merchandise, classification must be accomplished by other than GRI 1. Therefore, reference to a subsequent GRI is necessary.

While GRI 2 is not applicable, GRI 2(b) in part directs that the classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of GRI 3. Rule 3 provides in pertinent part:

When, by application of Rule 2(b) or any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale.

Explanatory Note Rule 3(b)(X) reads:

For the 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. Therefore, for example, six fondue forks cannot be regarded as a set within the meaning of this Rule;

(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).

While all of the components are holstered together, they do not meet the requirements of Note (X) (b) above, to Rule 3(b). This specific rule requires that the set consists of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity. The ratchet driver and the screwdriver bits are used together and meet the requirements of Note (X) (b) of Rule 3(b). However, the "Exacto" razor blade knife is useful by itself without regard to the driver and bits and does not reflect the principle of meeting a particular need or carrying out a specific activity in relation to the driver or bits. Therefore, the conditions for treating this prospective importation as a set are not met and the classification issue must be addressed separately for these items.

The applicable subheading for the "Exacto" razor blade knife which contains one blade will be 8211.93.0060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for knives with cutting blades having other than fixed blades, and parts thereof, other. The duty rate will be 3 cents each + 5.4% ad valorem.

The ratchet driver and 10 interchangeable screwdriver bits constitute a unit and are classifiable as interchangeable tools. The explanatory notes to Section XV Heading 82.07(c) indicate that the tools of this heading may be either of a one-piece construction or composite articles. Your reference to Headquarters ruling 084551 dated August 9, 1989, is noted. In that instance, the ratchet driver was used with both the screwdriver bits, classifiable in heading 82.07 and the sockets, classifiable in heading 82.04. As such, the rationale used in that ruling is inapplicable in this instance.

The applicable subheading for the screwdriver bits and the ratchet driver holder will be 8207.90.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for interchangeable tools for handtools, whether or not power-operated, or for machine-tools: other interchangeable tools, and parts thereof: other: not suitable for cutting metal, and parts thereof: for handtools, and parts thereof... The duty rate will be 6.2% ad valorem.

The cost of the packing (holster) will be prorated over each article and classified accordingly.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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