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NY G84305

November 30, 2000

CLA-2-48:RR:NC:SP:234 G84305


TARIFF NO.: 4901.99.0092; 8524.51.3040; 9801.00.1055

Mr. Robert J. Villiard
Good Ship International Inc.
1058 Tower Lane
Bensenville, IL 60106

RE: The tariff classification of an educational kit, including books and other items, from Hong Kong.

Dear Mr. Villiard:

In your letter dated September 14, 2000, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Rigby Education, Inc. (Crystal Lake, IL). In response to our request for additional information, you submitted a supplementary letter dated November 8, 2000.

A complete production sample of an educational kit known as “Pebble Soup Literacy Resource/ Tugs & Hugs” accompanied your most recent letter. The kit, which consists of several components made in various countries, is described as a program used in schools to help teachers work with young students just starting to learn to read. All components will initially be shipped to a logistics company in Hong Kong, where they will be combined/packaged into individual kits for export to the United States. The sample kit is comprised of the following items:

12 “lap books” (country of origin (“c/o”): China). These are 16-page, staple-bound books, each printed in large type with a different story for children. The stories, all of which are illustrated, tend to focus on appropriate behavior in social situations often encountered by young people.

6 cotton canvas hand puppets (c/o: Taiwan). These are mitten-like articles printed with the images of specific characters portrayed in the lap books. (They are also labeled with the names of the respective characters.) The puppets are intended to be “an interactive tool used by the teacher and students to act out what is being learned.” 6 printed paper posters (c/o: China) intended to be hung on the wall of the classroom. These items bear pictures of the lap books’ characters, together with captions that echo some of the themes suggested by the stories. (“It’s so nice to see you share,” “Be kind to everyone,” etc.)

1 audio cassette tape (c/o: USA) recorded with children’s songs related to the lap books’ themes.

An 86-page spiral-bound teacher’s handbook (c/o: Hong Kong), which provides educators with background information, guidelines on how to use the kit, and related textual matter.

A vinyl, satchel-like carrying case (c/o: China) which holds all of the above items. It appears to be specifically designed to contain the components of the “Pebble Soup” kit, and to provide a long-term means of keeping them organized and protected when they are not being used. The size and shape of the case allow its contents to fit snugly within it, and there is little, if any, extra capacity for additional items. The exterior is prominently printed with your client’s logos (“Rigby” and “Pebble Soup”), plus the words “Tugs & Hugs: A Recipe For Social & Emotional Growth.”

We find that all of the above-described items are designed to be used in conjunction with one another for the purpose of conducting a particular learning activity in the classroom. For tariff classification purposes, the merchandise will be considered “goods put up in sets for retail sale” whose essential character is imparted by the books, which predominate in terms of value, bulk, weight and function. However, Customs’ practice on the tariff treatment of recordings requires that the tape be classified separately.

The applicable subheading for the “Pebble Soup/Tugs & Hugs” kit, excluding the cassette tape, will be 4901.99.0092, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other (than certain enumerated) printed books containing 5 or more pages each but not more than 48 pages each. The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the audio cassette will be 8524.51.3040, HTS, which provides for records, tapes and other recorded media for sound: other (than certain enumerated) magnetic tapes of a width not exceeding 4 mmsound recordings on cassette tapes. The rate of duty will be 4.8 cents per square meter of recording surface.

Alternatively, upon compliance with the requirements of section 10.1 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 10.1), the audio cassette may be entered under subheading 9801.00.1055, HTS, which provides for products of the United States when returned after having been exported, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroadother (than certain enumerated) articles provided for in chapter 85. The rate of duty will be free.

You also asked about country of origin marking requirements. As presented, the sample kit allows a prospective purchaser to open the carrying case and examine its contents. In order to satisfy the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304, each foreign-made component should therefore be marked to indicate its own country of origin. Alternatively, the countries of origin of the various components may be indicated at a central location on the set. For example, printing (or an affixed printed label) on the exterior of the case in a conspicuous location would be acceptable (e.g., “Puppets Made in Taiwan; “Teacher’s Guide Printed in Hong Kong; Case, Lap Books and Posters Made in China.”). Whatever method is used, the marking must be legible, permanent and conspicuous.

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 Carl Abramowitz at 212-637-7060.


Robert B. Swierupski

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