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HQ 962765

June 29, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 962765 gah



Mr. Arlen T. Epstein
Tompkins and Davidson
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway, 43rd floor
New York, NY 10036-8901

RE: Footworks implement kit; set put up for retail sale

Dear Mr. Epstein:

This is in reply to your letter of August 24, 1999, Director, Customs Information Exchange, New York, NY, requesting a binding classification ruling on a footworks implement kit, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), on behalf of Avon Products, Inc.


The merchandise is described as a foot care kit, which will be produced for Avon Products, Inc, in the Republic of Korea. The plastic drawstring bag contains a paperboard based emery board, a plastic pedicure file, a plastic nail brush, a plastic cuticle pusher, a foam rubber toe separator and a pair of rubber thongs.

The clear PVC bag is approximately 14 inches in length by 5 inches width with a 1 inch gusset on each side, and is sized to contain the articles mentioned above. The top edge is threaded with a cord which can be drawn closed and tied to keep articles from slipping out. The seams are heat sealed. The articles will be imported, marketed and sold in this manner as a set.


Is the footworks implement kit classified as a pedicure set of heading 8214, HTSUS, as a set put up for retail sale, or are the articles separately classified?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While not legally binding, 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. See T.D. 8980, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Heading 8214, HTSUS, provides for, among other things, manicure or pedicure sets and instruments (including nail files). Chapter 82, note 1 states that apart from manicure or pedicure sets, among other things, chapter 82 covers only articles with a blade, working edge, working surface or other working part of certain enumerated substances. Thus, pedicure sets are not limited in the materials of which their articles may be made.

The EN to heading 8214 states that manicure or pedicure sets usually contain instruments in boxes, cases, etc., and may include scissors, non-metallic nail polishers, hair removing tweezers, etc., which taken separately, would be classified in their appropriate headings. Thus, the scope of heading 8214 is intended to usually cover pedicure sets that contain instruments in a container, and may contain appropriate articles that, imported separately, are classified outside heading 8214. The pedicure set at issue does not contain any instruments, but does contain appropriate articles to aid in the cosmetic treatment of the feet and toenails, emery boards, nail brush, foam rubber toe separator, plastic cuticle pusher, and plastic thongs. See The American Heritage Dictionary (New College Ed. 1982) at 966.

Heading 4202, provides for, in pertinent part,... travel bags...and similar containers....of sheeting of plastic. The bag is classified therein. Heading 6402, HTSUS, provides for other footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics. The sandals are classified therein. Heading 6805 includes natural or artificial abrasive powder or grain, on a base of (any) material, whether o not cut to shape or sewn or otherwise made-up. The emery board and pedicure file are classified therein. Heading 9603 covers brushes, among other things. The nail brush is classified therein.

You argue that the articles form a set put up for retail sale because they all contribute to the major theme of . GRI 3(a) indicates that when goods are classifiable in more than one heading, headings which refer to part only of the items put up for retail sale, the headings are to be regarded as equally specific.

The EN to GRI 3(b) states that to meet the criteria of a set put up together for retail sale, articles must:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings.

(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).

Applying the above GRI 3(b) EN criteria, the instant goods are several different goods classifiable in different headings. Criteria (a). They are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking in cardboard boxes. Criteria (c).

However, the goods are not put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity. Criteria (b). Rather, there are three specific activities: taking photographs, storing and carrying the camera, and displaying a photograph. The focus in criteria (b) is whether they work together for a common need or activity, not whether they have a particular theme.

Under the instant facts, the articles do not meet all three criteria of the GRI 3(b) EN, and therefore do not form a set put up for retail sale. For your information, you may wish to read Classification of Sets under the HTS, an informed compliance publication of the U.S. Customs Service, 33 Customs Bulletin 51 (December 22, 1999), available at www.customs.gov.

Therefore, the goods are separately classifiable.



John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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