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NY F88593

July 19, 2000

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 F88593


TARIFF NO.: 3926.10.0000; 3926.90.9880; 9017.20.8080

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

RE: The tariff classification of instructional articles.

Dear Mr. Colomaio:

In your letter dated June 19, 2000, on behalf of Instructional Materials Group, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Three samples were provided with your letter. The chain links consist of individual chain links, measuring 1 1/2 inches in length by 5/8 inch in width, made of injection molded polypropylene plastic. They are imported in sets of 1000 links, packaged in four bags, each containing 250 pieces of a single color. You state that the links will be used by elementary school teachers to demonstrate the mathematical concepts of counting, sorting and measurement. However, the links are standard plastic chain links which may be used for general purposes.

The shape tracer set, labeled article IP 027900, consists of nine standard shapes, injection molded from transparent polystyrene plastic. The set includes an isosceles triangle, an equilateral triangle, a square, a rectangle, a pentagon, a hexagon, an octagon, an ellipse and a circle. Each piece is identified with the name of the shape molded into its upper surface. The tracers measure about 3 millimeters in thickness and have beveled edges. Their thickness and beveled edges make them especially suitable for use in tracing those shapes onto paper using a pen or pencil. The shapes are ones typically included in plastic drawing stencils, except in stencils the shape is made by the absence of material, rather than the presence.

The hinged mirror base is used in conjunction with a hinged mirror consisting of two sides. The base is shaped like a standard protractor, and contains a lip and channel and incrementally spaced protrusions to support the mirror at different angles. The hinged mirror is placed on the base to achieve an angled reflection beginning at 20 degrees and increasing in increments to 180 degrees. The increments are labeled alphabetically from A to I.

You suggest classification in heading 9023, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for instruments, apparatus and models, designed for demonstrational purposes (for example, in education or exhibitions), unsuitable for other uses, and parts and accessories thereof. The Explanatory Notes to the HTS constitute the official interpretation of the tariff schedule at the international level. The Explanatory Notes covering heading 9023, HTS, list articles such as demonstrational machines, anatomical models, training dummies, relief maps and military tank simulators. Compared to the Explanatory Note examples, the items for which you are requesting a ruling 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. Also, although the shapes, links and mirror base may be used in conjunction with other materials as part of a lesson, they themselves do not illustrate or demonstrate any mathematical concept. They possess no marks, features or functions that particularly suit them for use in demonstrating any particular concept, theory or principle.

Classification in heading 9023 also requires that the articles be unsuitable for other uses. The shape tracer sets may be used for tracing, drawing or designing patterns. The chain links have general purpose applications. In addition, legal note 1 (f) to chapter 90 precludes from classification in that chapter parts of general use, as defined in note 2 to section XV, of base metal, or similar goods of plastics. Chain is among the articles listed as parts of general use.

You suggest, in the alternative, that the chain links may be classifiable in the provision for toys. Toys are provided for in chapter 95. Legal note 1 (k) to chapter 95 precludes parts of general use from classification in that chapter.

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 shape tracer set will be 9017.20.8080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other drawing, marking-out or mathematical calculating instruments. The rate of duty will be 4.6 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the hinged mirror base will be 3926.10.0000, HTS, which provides for other articles of plasticsoffice or school supplies. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the chain links will be 3926.90.9880, HTS, which provides for other articles of plastics, other. The rate of duty will be 5.3 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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