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NY J82517

April 17, 2003

CLA-2-82:RR:NC:1:104 J82517


TARIFF NO.: 8207.90.6000

Ms. Laura Denny
CBT International Inc.
110 West ocean Blvd., Suite 728
Long Beach, CA 90802

RE: The tariff classification of a ratchet and bit set from China or Taiwan

Dear Ms. Denny:

In your letter dated March 20, 2003 on behalf of Alltrade, Inc. of Long Beach, CA you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A sample of the 24 Piece Ratchet & Bit Set (Part # 270158) has been submitted. The set consists of 22 assorted screwdriver bits, a socket adapter (but no sockets) and a ratchet handle. The ratchet is magnetic with a compartment in the back of the handle to store bits. No bits are stored there as imported. The bits are displayed in a fitted plastic tray inside a blister package with a hang hole. The hand-grip of the ratchet extends outside of the packaging. The sample will be returned per your request.

You mentioned possible classifications under HTS subheadings 8207.90.60 which provides for other interchangeable tools for handtools, 8466.10.80 which includes tool holders for any type of tool for working in the hand and 8205.40.00 which provides for screwdrivers. You cite NY rulings D88860 of March 10, 1999 and H87920 of February 19, 2002 and Wilmington NC ruling DD 855181 of August 22, 1990.

Ruling 855181 differs from the subject of the current request in that sockets were included as well as screwdriver bits. The two NY rulings differ in that the bits included with those sets were imported stored in the handle or on the tool itself.

The above ratchet and bit set consists of at least two different articles that are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings. It consists of articles put up together to carry out a specific activity (i.e., tightening or loosening fasteners). Finally, the articles are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. Therefore, the kits in question are within the term “goods put up in sets for retail sale.” GRI 3(b) states in part that goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), are to be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character.

HQ ruling 084551 of August 9, 1989 classified a tool kit consisting of screwdriver bits, sockets, a socket adapter, an extender and a ratchet handle as a GRI 3(b) set under HTS subheading 8466.10 which includes tool holders for any type of tool for working in the hand. It was stated that the ratchet handle is necessary for the use of the sockets and bits as well as the adapter and extender. It was also stated that the ratchet handle is the only component continually in use. For these reasons, it was determined that the ratchet handle imparts the essential character to the tool kit.

In the present situation, the kit does not include any sockets. In its imported condition, when assembled, it can only function as a screwdriver. A screwdriver with multiple bits stored in the handle or on the tool itself can be regarded as a single tool. However, a handle packaged with multiple bits that are not stored in the handle or on the tool itself is not considered to be a screwdriver for purposes of subheading 8205.40. Since the only function here is the ability to function as a screwdriver, it is the opinion of this office that the screwdriver bits impart the essential character to this ratchet and bit set.

The applicable subheading for the 24 Piece Ratchet & Bit Set, Part # 270518, will be 8207.90.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for interchangeable tools for handtools, whether or not power operated, or machine tools : other interchangeable tools, and parts thereof: other: other: not suitable for cutting metal, and parts thereof: for handtools, and parts thereof. The rate of duty will be 4.3 percent.

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 Robert Losche at 646-733-3011.


Robert B. Swierupski

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