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HQ 965096

January 10, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 965096 DBS


TARIFF NOS.: 8206.00.00

Mr. Rick Mosley
Kuehne & Nagel, Inc.
101 Wrangler Drive
Suite 201
Coppell, Texas 75019

RE: Tool set.

Dear Mr. Mosley:

This is in response to your letter of May 29, 2001, to the Director, National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, on behalf of Office Depot, requesting the classification of a “52 Pcs Home & Auto Tool Set” under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter was referred to this office for reply. We regret the delay.


The “52 Pcs Home & Auto Tool Set” (Style #390), a sample of which was submitted, consists of 1 roll of PVC electrical tape, 25 cable ties, 1 combination pliers, 8 sockets, 11 screwdriver bits, 1 retractable utility knife with blade, 1 ratchet handle, 1 ratchet bit extension holder, 1 battery operated flashlight, 1 tire pressure gauge and 1 circuit tester with alligator clip extension cable. These items are packed into a zippered case with an outer surface of PVC, specially fitted with elastic bands to hold the components in place, molded slots attached to the inner lining of the case to hold the sockets, and a band of molded slots for the screwdriver bits, held in place by elastic bands. The fitted zippered case is inserted into a cardboard sleeve that lists all contents and depicts the products. The fitted zippered case is suitable for long-term use. It is the container for the set contained within.


Whether the “52 Pcs Home & Auto Tool Set” may be classified in heading 8206, HTSUS, as tools of two or more headings of 8202 to 8205, put up in sets for retail sale. LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that articles are to be classified by the terms of the headings and relative Section and Chapter Notes. For an article to be classified in a particular heading, the heading must describe the article, and not be excluded therefrom by any legal note. In the event that goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be utilized. ENs, though not dispositive or legally binding, provide commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and are the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The pertinent HTSUS provisions for the items that comprise the “52 Pcs Home and Auto Tool Set” if imported separately are as follows:

Article HTSUS Classification

PVC electrical tape 3919.10.20 cable ties 3926.90.98 pliers 8203.20.60 sockets 8204.20.00 screwdriver bits 8207.90.60 retractable utility knife with blade 8211.93.00 ratchet handle 8466.10.80 ratchet bit extension holder 8466.10.80 battery operated flashlight 8513.10.20 tire pressure gauge 9026.20.80 circuit tester 9030.39.00 alligator clip extension cable for circuit tester 9030.39.00

Heading 8206, HTSUS, provides for “Tools of two or more of the headings 8202 to 8205, put up in sets for retail sale.” EN 82.06 states that this heading provides for sets of tools falling at least in two or more of the headings 8202 to 8205, provided that they are put up for retail sale in, for example, a plastic case or metallic tool box, and includes:

Sets of car mechanic’s tools including, e.g., socket sets, spanners, ratchet wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers.

(2) Simple combinations such as sets of spanners and screwdrivers

The EN also states that tools of minor importance from other headings will remain in this heading, provided that the minority items do not change the essential character of the set of tools of two or more headings of heading 8202, HTSUS, to 8205, HTSUS.

The subject tool set is classifiable according to GRI 1 by the terms of heading 8206, HTSUS, because it contains two tools that fall into headings 8202 to 8205, HTSUS, namely the 8 sockets (heading 8204, HTSUS) and the combination pliers (heading 8203, HTSUS). The other articles in the set do not change the essential character of the set as a set of tools of headings 8202 to 8205, and therefore are of minor importance. Further, the set is put up in a plastic fitted case for retail sale. We have held similarly in HQ 953648, dated July 29, 1993.

With respect to the case, GRI 5(a) states: "[C]amera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, drawing instrument cases, necklace cases and similar containers, specially shaped or fitted to contain a specific article or set of articles, suitable for long-term use and presented with the articles for which they are intended, shall be classified with such articles when of a kind normally sold therewith. This rule does not, however, apply to containers which give the whole its essential character." We find that the subject case is classifiable with the articles provided therein because it is specially fitted with elastic bands and molded plastic slots to secure each item in place inside the case. Because it is fitted for the tools contained therein, it is of a kind that would typically be used for such tools. Further, it is an appropriate size, style (zippered) and durable material that is typical of portable tool sets kept in an automobile. Thus, the subject set is classified in subheading 8206.00.00, HTSUS.


The “52 Pcs. Home & Auto Tool Set” is classified in subheading 8206.00.00, HTSUS, which provides for, “Tools of two or more of the headings 8202 to 8205, put up in sets for retail sale.”


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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