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NY E89203

November 2, 1999

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:MM:105 E89203


TARIFF NO.: 9017.20.8080

Ms. Michelle Blair
Wal-Mart Stores
702 Southwest 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72716-8023

RE: The tariff classification of an “8 Piece Math Set” from China and France

Dear Ms. Blair:

In your letter, dated September 19, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The sample, stock 123646, is described on a paper insert as having, in a flimsy plastic box, “compass, rubber eraser, lead pencil, pencil sharpener, 6 inch-15.2 centimeter ruler, 45 degree set square, 60 degree set square, and protractor.” Except for the pencil and the eraser, all the items are almost wholly of plastics and, if imported separately, would be classified in HTS Heading 9017.

Despite its name, the import does not enable the user to perform typical mathematical calculations. It does enable students to do the limited drawing necessary, for example, in making “pie” charts or in drawing the triangles that are the subjects of proofs in trigonometry. .

Although it lacks a “disc calculator”, it resembles the Example in Explanatory Note X-3 to General Rule of Interpretation 3 of the Harmonized System and is likewise classified as a set in Heading 9017 on the basis that its essential character comes from the items classified in that Heading.

Within 9017, the ruler and the squares are marked in both inches and centimeters along their edges so they are somewhat described by “Instruments for measuring length, for use in the hand”, noting that “Divided scales (school rulers, etc.)” are included in EN D-6 to 9017. However, “rulers” are also included as “Drawing instruments” in EN A-4 to 9017. Rulers are used both to measure length, which is also a necessary element in some drawing, and as a straight edge to guide the pencil. On balance, the essential character of the 9017 items come from their drawing aspect.

The applicable subheading for this item will be 9017.20.8080, Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “other” drawing or marking out instruments.. The general rate of duty will be 4.6 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 James Sheridan at 212-637-7037.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity

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