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NY F88576

June 30, 2000

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 F88576


TARIFF NO.: 3926.10.0000; 3920.30.0000

Mr. John D. Colomaio
Trans-Border Customs Services, Inc.
625 Delaware Avenue, Suite 210
Buffalo, NY 14202

RE: The tariff classification of plastic interconnecting cubes and tiles.

Dear Mr. Colomaio:

In your letter dated June 13, 2000, on behalf of Instructional Materials Group L.L.C., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Samples were provided with your letter. The interconnecting or snap cubes are available in two sizes, 10 millimeters or 19 millimeters on a side. The cubes are packaged 10 different colors to a set. The cubes can be used by teachers to demonstrate such concepts as measurement, volume, area and mass. The cubes are composed of molded ABS plastic. The color tiles are square, measuring 25 millimeters to a side by 4 millimeters in height. Four colors are packaged to a set of 100 tiles. The tiles can be used by teachers to demonstrate such concepts as area, place value, probability and fractions.

You suggest classification in heading 9023. However, the Harmonized System Explanatory Note to 9023 excludes “(a)rticles designed for both recreational and demonstrational purposes” While the snap cubes and color tiles can be useful in a teacher’s explanation of simple concepts such as counting and volume, the “Activities” books sold on the same catalog page for each make it clear that the cubes and tiles are also used by children both by themselves and with others to put together different shapes and configurations, a traditional childhood activity. While a teacher can use them to explain simple concepts, they are not suitable only for that use, as required by heading 9023. Compared to the examples in the Explanatory Notes to 9023, these items are much less sophisticated and are not used to demonstrate any specific principle, such as the “color composition of white light,” which is the purpose of the Newton’s disc which you cite. Although they may be used in conjunction with other materials as part of a lesson, they themselves do not illustrate or demonstrate any mathematical concept. The tiles are merely flat shapes, which possess no marks, features or functions that particularly suit them for use in demonstrating any particular concept, theory or principle.

The country of origin was not stated in your letter. The rates of duty provided below apply to the merchandise when it is produced in a country with which the United States has Normal Trade Relations.

The applicable subheading for the overhead interconnecting or snap cubes will be 3926.10.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other articles of plastics, office or school supplies. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the polystyrene color tiles will be 3920.30.0000, HTS, which provides for other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics, noncellular and not reinforced, laminated, supported or similarly combined with other materials: of polymers of styrene. The rate of duty will be 5.8 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 Joan Mazzola at 212-637-7034.


Robert B. Swierupski

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