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HQ 966605

April 29, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 966605 DSS


TARIFF NO.: 8441.10.0000

Ms. Suzanne Lorbiecki
Fiskars, Inc.
7811 W. Stewart Avenue
P.O. Box 8027

Wausau, WI 54402

RE: Revocation of NY G84202; Paper Trimmers

Dear Ms. Lorbiecki:

This letter is pursuant to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) reconsideration of New York Ruling letter (NY) G84202, dated November 30, 2000. We have reviewed the classification in NY G84202 and have determined that it is incorrect. This ruling sets forth the correct classification.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), a notice was published on September 10, 2003, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 37, Number 37, proposing to modify NY G84202. No comments were received in response to this notice.


In NY G84202, Customs classified certain paper trimmers from Mexico. The paper trimmers at issue were described in NY G84202 as follows:

The samples you provided are two Fiskars paper trimmers, which will be packaged together for retail sale. Item 95808994 is the Fiskars 12-inch/30 cm Rotary Paper Trimmer. It consists of a non-skid plastic base holding a guide rail. A plastic blade holder containing a rotating metal blade is attached to the rail. By placing cutting material on the base under the rail, a user can trim the material by pushing the blade across it.

Item 95909494 is the Fiskars Personal Paper Trimmer. It is similar to the other trimmer, but is smaller and designed to be carried in a standard ring binder. Both of these items are intended to be used on a desktop or similar work surface, and not in the hand. Both bases are printed with a measuring grid as a guide, but the principal function of the items is to cut paper.

The first paper trimmer is a rotary paper trimmer because the cutting blade rotates around an axis as it slides across the paper. The other paper trimmer functions by the user sliding a small, straight blade across the paper similar to the rotary trimmer. In NY G84202, Customs classified the subject paper trimmers under subheading 8214.90.90, HTSUS, which provides for “Other articles of cutlery (for example, hair clippers, butchers’ knives or kitchen cleavers, chopping or mincing knives, paper knives); manicure or pedicure sets and instruments (including nail files); base metal parts thereof: Other: Other (including parts).”


Whether the instant paper trimmers are classified under heading 8214, HTSUSA, as other articles of cutlery, or under heading 8441, HTSUSA, as other machinery for making up paper, cutting machines.


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the 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.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUSA and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The HTSUSA provisions under consideration are as follows:

Other articles of cutlery (for example, hair clippers, butchers’ knives or kitchen cleavers, chopping or mincing knives, paper knives); manicure or pedicure sets and instruments (including nail files); base metal parts thereof: 8214.90 Other:
8214.90.90 Other (including parts)

Other machinery for making up paper pulp, paper or paperboard, including cutting machines of all kinds, and parts thereof: 8441.10.0000 Cutting machines

Note 1(k) to Section XVI, HTSUSA, provides: “This section [Section XVI, which includes Chapter 84, HTSUSA] does not cover: ... Articles of chapter 82 or 83.” Thus, if a good is described in Chapter 82 or 83, HTSUSA, it is not classified in Chapter 84, HTSUSA. Accordingly, if the paper trimmers are described in heading 8214, HTSUSA, as other articles of cutlery, classification in heading 8441 is precluded. On the other hand, Note 1(f) to Section XV, HTSUSA, excludes articles of Section XVI (including Chapter 84), from classification in Section XV (including Chapter 82), so if the paper trimmers fall under classification in heading 8441, as a cutting machine for making up paper, then classification under heading 8214 is precluded.

Heading 8214, HTSUSA, covers other articles of cutlery. “Cutlery” is defined in the Random House Unabridged Dictionary (1993) as: “cutting instruments collectively, esp. knives for cutting food . . . .” It is defined in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (1986) as: “edged or cutting tools (as shears, knives, surgical instruments) . . . .” In NY G84202, we concluded that the paper trimmers were articles of cutlery.

New information has been presented to Customs, however, that has caused us to view the classification in NY G84202 as incorrect. New information indicates that arc-motion cutters and trimmers, which are similar in many design elements and principal use to rotary cutters, are commercially known as “guillotine” type cutters and trimmers. Customs had confirmed this through a search of Internet sources. The EN for heading 8441, identifies “guillotines” as an exemplar of the types of machinery included in that heading. Customs has previously interpreted “guillotine” type cutters to be limited to the type of devices which cut or trim by means of a blade descending vertically to perform the cutting operation. See NY H84946, dated August 30, 2001. Customs has confirmed that dictionary definitions of the term “guillotine” indicate that it is a machine. See, e.g., Oxford English Dictionary and Webster’s Third International Dictionary.

Futhermore, it appears that the instant paper trimmers have sufficient mechanical capability to be considered machines for tariff purposes. Thus, the instant paper trimmers belong to the class or kind of machinery for making up paper (i.e., they are machines for cutting paper). Customs is now of the view that the instant paper trimmers are classified under subheading 8441.10.0000, HTSUSA.

Accordingly, pursuant to Note 1(f) to Chapter XV, excerpted above, classification in heading 8214 is precluded.


In accordance with the above discussion, the correct classification for the instant rotary paper trimmers is subheading 8441.10.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for “Other machinery for making up paper pulp, paper or paperboard, including cutting machines of all kinds, and parts thereof: Cutting machines.” The 2004 general rate of duty is free.


NY G84202 is REVOKED. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after publication in the Customs Bulletin.


Myles B. Harmon

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