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NY B89981

October 10, 1997

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:TA:352 B89981


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9989

Mr. John M. Peterson
Neville, Peterson & Williams
80 Broad Street, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10004

RE: The tariff classification of zippered loose leaf binder of textile fabric from China.

Dear Mr. Peterson:

In your letter dated September 24, 1997, on behalf of your client, Stuart Hall Company, you requested a tariff classification ruling. The sample is being returned as requested.

The submitted sample, designated as style "Looney Toons Blues", is a zippered loose leaf binder with a man-made fiber woven fabric outer covering. It measures 13.5 inches long, 11 inches wide and is approximately 2.5 inches thick. The binder features a zipper which runs along three sides of the binder. The inside of the binder has been constructed with a man-made fiber woven fabric and includes several pockets for the storage of pens, pencils, loose paper etc. Between the inner and outer fabrics a layer of cellular plastic and a rigid plastic sheet have been inserted. The rigid plastic sheet provides dimensional stability while the cellular plastic offers a padding effect softening the article. A three ring metal binder attached to a plastic sheet is inserted into a vertical pocket. Ten sheets of heavy paper have been inserted into the ring binder. These sheets of paper are printed with lined grids for the insertion of various data such as class schedules and calendar appointments.

You propose that the instant product be classified in heading 4820, HTS, which provides, in pertinent part, for diaries, notebooks and similar articles, of paper or paperboard. You claim that the article contains a "daily planner book." We note, however, that the sample ring binder contains only ten (10) sheets of heavyweight paper, the first of which is printed with a two-year academic calendar as well as captioned grids for the recordation of personal information and class schedules. Each of the remaining pages features two rather narrow, blank, ruled columns for the entry of "daily notes."

We observe that the ring binder has the capacity to hold a much larger supply of paper than what is included with it. It appears to us that if the imported "binder organizer" is used as intended, i.e., as an academic notebook and/or planner, the user will normally choose to fill it with a package of loose leaf "filler paper" and/or a complete "planner refill" (available commercially under various guises). In any event, the paper to be added will be substantially more voluminous than what is already present. The ten sheets of paper supplied with the binder thus appear to constitute a minimal "starter set" of pages, probably intended to be kept at the front of the bulk of the pages to be supplied by the user. It is quite possible that some users may opt to discard or ignore the starter pages if the format of those pages is not compatible with their needs.

In light of the above, we find that the basic product being offered here is not a notebook or planner but a binder/cover designed to allow the user to build his or her own notebook or planner, and to provide a means to store/carry loose papers, pencils, rulers, etc., in the pockets provided. The paper included with the item is insignificant with respect to its marketability and ultimate function. It is also minor in comparison with the other materials and components present in the overall product, i.e., in terms of bulk, weight, appearance and, presumably, value. We thus find that since the imported product is not essentially of paper or paperboard, it cannot be considered a diary, notebook or similar article of such material, as provided for in heading 4820, HTS.

Both the visible inner and outer materials that form this binder are made from woven textile fabric. The value and quantity of the textile fabric components exceed the value and quantity of the plastic, paper and metal components. Based on these facts and the observation that the visual characteristics and marketing appeal of this product is imparted by the textile components, the essential character of this article is imparted by the textile fabric.

The applicable subheading for the loose leaf binder will be 6307.90.9989, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other made up articles...other. The rate of duty will be 7 percent ad valorem.

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

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Alan Tytelman at 212-466-5896.


Robert B. Swierupski

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