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NY C86784

April 21, 1998

CLA-2-94:RR:NC:SP:233 C86784


TARIFF NO.: 9403.20.0030

Mr. James V. Maddux
O'Neill & Whitaker, Inc.
1809 Baltimore Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64108

RE: The tariff classification of a tool chest with tools and a roller cabinet from Hong Kong or Taiwan.

Dear Mr. Maddux:

In your letter dated April 10, 1998, on behalf of Transworld Products, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The item to be imported consists of a metal tool chest which sits on top of a metal cabinet with wheels. The tool chest has two drawers and contains a 321-piece tool set. The tool chest, tools and cabinet will be imported and sold together as a set.

General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) 3(b) provides: goods that are put up in sets for retail sale shall be classified according to the component which imparts the essential character. The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA provide the official interpretation to the tariff schedule at the international level. The Explanatory Note to GRI 3(b) defines goods put up in sets for retail sale as goods which consist of at least two different articles which are prima facie classifiable in different headings, goods which consist of products put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity and are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. The merchandise at issue meets this definition of a set.

The Explanatory Note to GRI 3(b) also states that the essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. Factors which may be used to determine essential character are the nature of the component, its bulk, quantity, weight, or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. Neither of the items at issue imparts the essential character of the merchandise. They both serve the same function. Neither item dominates in the factors listed above. The cabinet has more bulk but the tool chest probably plays a greater role because it stores tools and carries them to where they are needed.

The tools that are contained in the tool chest will also be included as part of the set. They appear to be of nominal value and therefore do not equally merit consideration in the determination of which item imparts the essential character. Under GRI 3(c), goods that cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a) or 3(b), shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. In this case, the metal cabinet comes last.

The applicable subheading for the tool chest and roller cabinet will be 9403.20.0030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other furniture and parts thereof: other metal furniture: other: other. The rate of duty will be 0.8% 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 Lawrence Mushinske at 212-466-5739.


Robert B. Swierupski

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