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NY F82124

January 28, 2000

CLA-2-96:RR:NC:SP:221 F82124


TARIFF NO.: 9609.90.8000

Mr. Gene Davis
Costco Wholesale, Inc.
999 Lake Drive
Issaquah, WA 98027

RE: The tariff classification of an art set from China.

Dear Mr. Davis:

In your letter dated January 11, 2000, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The sample submitted with your letter is identified as a 129 piece Artist’s Studio art set, item #258615. It consists of various art supplies stored in a fitted wooden case with a carrying handle. The set includes 48 porous tipped markers, 30 colored pencils, 30 oil pastels, 12 watercolor tubes, 2 paint brushes, 2 drawing pencils, 1 pencil sharpener, 1 eraser, 1 paper pad, 1 plastic mixing tray, and 1 empty water bottle. According to your letter, the colored pencils and drawing pencils are made in Indonesia or Thailand. All of the other components are manufactured in China, and the kit is assembled in China. The sample is being returned as you requested.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Tariff System provide guidance in the interpretation of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System at the international level. Explanatory Note X to GRI 3(b) provides that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods that: (a) consist of at least two 2 different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings; (b) consist of 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. Goods classifiable under GRI 3(b) are classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, which may be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the article. GRI 3(c) provides that when goods cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a) or 3(b), they are to be classified in the heading that occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration in determining their classification. In this case, no single component imparts the essential character, and the set will be classified in accordance with GRI 3(c).

The applicable subheading for the Artist’s Studio art set will be 9609.90.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for pencils (other than those pencils of heading 9608), crayons, pencil leads, pastels, drawing charcoals, writing or drawing charcoals, writing or drawing chalks and tailors' chalks, other, other. The rate of duty will be free.

The cardbaord sleeve in which the set is packaged is printed with the legend “Made in China.” Although classifiable as a set, each component of the set retains its own country of origin. Thus the country of origin for the pencils remains Indonesia or Thailand. The marking on the cardboard sleeve should be amended to indicate the correct country of origin of the components, e.g., “Colored Pencils Made in Taiwan, Drawing Pencils Made in Indonesia, Remainder of Contents Made in China.”

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 Joan Mazzola at 212-637-7034.


Robert B. Swierupski

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