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HQ 965727

JULY 19, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 965727 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8420.10.90

Barbara J. Riley
Kmart Corporation
3100 West Big Beaver Road
Troy, MI 48084-3163

RE: Laminating Machine

Dear Ms. Riley:

In a letter to the Director, National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, dated, April 29, 2002, you request a ruling as to the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a nine-inch laminating machine. Your letter has been referred to this office for reply.


The article in question is a nine-inch laminating machine, identified as sample item #34-63-37. Included with the laminator are six 9-by-12-inch vinyl pouches, packaged together as a set. The device is electrically operated, measures 14.7 in. x 5.7 in. x 3.7 in., and weighs 4.7 lbs. It is designed to be placed on a desk or table in a home/office environment. After turning the machine to the “ON” position, which activates a heating element, the user is instructed to place the article to be laminated, such as a name card or badge, luggage tag or recipe card, inside the plastic laminating pouch and insert the pouch into the feed slot, sealed end first. The machine will pull the pouch into the feed slot and release it to the rear of the laminator. An examination of the sample indicates the laminating pouch passes between two parallel rollers which apply pressure.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Calendering or other rolling machines, other than for metals or glass, and cylinders therefor; parts thereof:

8420.10 Calendering or other rolling machines:

Calendering or similar rolling machines for making paper pulp, paper or paperboard



Whether the laminator, item #34-63-37, is a good of heading 8420.


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) states, in relevant part, that goods put up in sets for retail sale are to be classified as if consisting of the material or 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).

The ENs for heading 8420 state, in relevant part, that the heading covers calendering or other rolling machines, whether or not specialized for a particular industry. These consist of two or more parallel cylinders or rollers revolving with their surfaces in more or less close contact so as to perform operations such as the production of certain effects on the surface of sheet materials (other than metal or glass) passed between the rollers, e.g., smoothing (including ironing), lustring, glazing, polishing, embossing or graining, or by the application of dressings or surface coatings, either by pressure of the cylinders alone or by pressure combined with friction, heat or
moisture. The laminator at issue here operates by the pressure of two parallel rollers combined with heat, to apply a plastic coating to the surface of various documents. The laminator is clearly described by the heading 8420 ENs. Certain other laminators, which function by heat-sealing the edges of the plastic sleeve, but which do not utilize parallel cylinders or rollers to apply pressure alone, or combined with heat, are not regarded as goods of heading 8420, HTSUS. These are classifiable as other office machines of heading 8472, HTSUS.

For purposes of GRI 3(b), HTSUS, the term “goods put up in sets for retail sale” means goods consisting of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings, consist of articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity, and are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. The goods at issue meet these criteria. The laminator is provided for in heading 8420 while the plastic pouches are provided for in provisions of Chapter 39, which encompasses plastics and articles thereof. These goods carry out the specific activity of providing an airtight/waterproof plastic seal to beautify, protect and preserve documents and other articles. As imported, they are suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. Noting the significance of the laminator in performing the described activity, its size, weight and value, it is clear that the laminator imparts the essential character to the good.


Under the authority of GRI 3(b), the nine-inch laminating machine, identified as sample item #34-63-37, is provided for in heading 8420. It is classifiable in subheading 8420.10.90, HTSUS.


Myles B. Harmon, Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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