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HQ 964329

MARCH 13, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964329 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8204.20.00

Mr. Jim Jackson
Unique Tools
7657 Winnetka Avenue, Suite 317
Canoga Park, CA 91306

RE: Adapta Tool

Dear Mr Jackson:

In your letter to the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, dated July 13, 2000, you inquire as to the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of the Adapta Tool™. Your letter has been referred to this office for reply. We regret the delay in responsing.


A submitted sample of the Adapta Tool™ consists of three Phillips screwdriver bits, three hex socket driver bits, three straight edged screwdriver bits, one socket for the screwdriver bits, five sockets for use separately, and a ratchet head or driver. All components are in a carrying case of man-made textile fiber materials. The case has a velcro closure, is specially shaped and fitted to accommodate the tools, has a loop for attachment to one’s belt and another loop to hold a small flashlight which is not imported, and is of a kind normally sold with sets of tools. The screwdriver bits fit into one of the sockets which, in turn, is attached to the ratchet head. As imported, the ratchet head in the Adapta Tool™ has no handle. It is designed to complement the Leatherman® Super Tool, a multi-purpose tool that folds into a handle for the ratchet head. However, the Leatherman® is not a part of this importation.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

8204 [S]ocket wrenches, with or without handles, drives or extensions, base metal parts thereof:

8204.20.00 Socket wrenches, with or without handles, drives and extensions, parts thereof:

Interchangeable tools for handtoolsor for machine toolsbase metal parts thereof:

8207.90 Other tools:

8207.90.75 Other


Whether the Adapta Tool™ constitutes “goods put up in sets for retail sale” for tariff purposes.


Under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), goods are to be classified according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6. GRI 3(b), HTSUS, states, in part, that goods put up in sets for retail sale are to be classified as if consisting of the component which gives the good its essential character.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. Though not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

There is no single HTSUS heading that describes the Adapta Tool™. The goods are not classifiable under GRI 2 which applies to goods imported incomplete or unfinished. Under GRI 3(b), HTSUS, relevant ENs on p. 5 state that the term “goods put up in sets for retail sale” shall be taken to mean those goods consisting of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings; that consist of products put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and, which are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. In this case, the ratchet head or driver is prima facie provided for in heading 8204 as a socket wrench and the sockets in the same heading as parts of socket wrenches; the screwdriver bits are provided for in heading 8207 as other interchangeable tools; and, the carrying case in heading 4202 as traveling bags, tool bags and similar containers of textile materials. The sockets, screwdriver bits and ratchet head all contribute to the specific activity of fastening, while the carrying case keeps all the components together. The sockets and screwdriver bits are tools that are each used independently with the ratchet head or driver. But, it is the ratchet head or driver that is in use continually and on which the sockets and screwdriver bits depend for their functionality. For this reason, we conclude that the rachet head or driver imparts the essential character to the whole. The Adapta Tool™ is to be classified as if consisting of the ratchet head, which functions as a socket wrench of heading 8204.


Under the authority of GRI 3(b), the Adapta Tool™ is a good put up in sets for retail sale provided for in heading 8204. It is classfiable in subheading 8204.20.00, HTSUS. Although the carrying case is classifiable for tariff purposes as part of the set, as a good of man-made textile fibers and a product of Taiwan, it falls within textile category 670 (see subheading 4202.92.9026), and is subject to textile quota and visa requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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