United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2004 NY Rulings > NY K87587 - NY K87641 > NY K87600

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY K87600

July 30, 2004
CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:104 K87600


TARIFF NO.: 8414.59.6060; 8441.10.0000; 8467.29.0090

Mr. Joseph Veiga
Schenker Incorporated
7200 Alum Creek Drive, Suite B
Columbus, OH 43217

RE: The tariff classification of hand-held office tools from China

Dear Mr. Veiga:

In your letter dated June 29, 2004 on behalf of Innodesk, Inc. you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You submitted four samples of hand-held office tools. All the tools contain self-contained motors. They are packaged in a manner that allows the consumer the opportunity of “testing” the tool before purchasing. A sticker bearing the words “Try Me” is affixed next to each tool’s “On” button. All tools are activated via this push button mechanism. The appropriate number of batteries required for this testing is included with each motorized tool. Each tool features a hanging strap. Per your request, the samples will be returned to your office.

Item #1 - Pencil Sharpener #50000
This device is capable of sharpening standard sized pencils. Pencil is inserted into the sharpener. Operator presses and holds the “On” button to activate the sharpener. Pencil sharpener features two loops which enable the user to store the device in a 3-ring binder. Three AA batteries are included for demonstrational “Try Me” purposes.

Item #2 - Dust Blower #53000
The dust blower eliminates the need to buy “canned” air. It blows dust off keyboards, desktops and office equipment. While holding the device with the clear nozzle pointing away from him/herself, the operator presses and holds the “On” button. The operator points the device towards the objects to be dusted and the expelled air blows the dust away. Four AA batteries are included for demonstrational “Try Me” purposes.

Item #3 - “Business Tools” Kit
The “Business Tools” kit consists of four hand-held business tools, i.e., a dust blower, a letter opener, a paper shredder and a pencil sharpener. Each tool has the appropriate number of AA batteries included for demonstrational “Try Me” purposes, i.e., the dust blower, letter opener, and paper shredder each have 4 AA batteries while the pencil sharpener has 3 AA batteries.

Item #4 - The “Executive Business Tools” Kit #50721 This kit consists of one hand-held letter opener and one paper shredder. These items differ from the letter opener and paper shredder in the “Business Tools” kit only in the coloring of the outside housing. The tools in this set feature black/silver housings. The ones in the “Business Tools” kit feature blue/grey housings. Each tool has 4 AA batteries included for demonstrational “Try Me” purposes.

In your letter, you suggest classifying the pencil sharpener, “Business Tools” kit and “Executive Business Tools” kit in heading 8472, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other office machines. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTS. While not legally binding, Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted (see T.D. 89-80). Noting EN 84.72, the term “office machines” is to be taken in a wide general sense to include all machines used in offices, shops, factories, workshops, etc., for doing “office work” (i.e. work concerning the writing, recording, sorting, etc.). EN 84.72 further states that office machines are classified here only if they have a base for fixing or for placing on a table, desk, etc. (Emphasis added) Examination of the samples show that the pencil sharpener and the tools contained in the “Business Tools” kit and the “Executive Business Tools” kit do not have bases. They are held in the hand during operation. Thus, these items do not satisfy the guidelines of the ENs to heading 8472, HTS.

The applicable subheading for the pencil sharpener #50000 will be 8467.29.0090, HTS, which provides for tools for working in the hand, pneumatic, hydraulic or with self-contained electric or nonelectric motor, and parts thereof: With self-contained electric motor: OtherOther. The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the “Executive Business Tools” kit #50721 will be 8441.10.0000, HTS, which provides for other machinery for making up paper pulp, paper or paperboard, including cutting machines of all kinds: cutting machines. The rate of duty will be free.

General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, HTS, states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRIs taken in order. Goods that are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, are classifiable in accordance with GRI 3, HTS. GRI 3(a) states in part that when two or more headings each refer to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific, even if one heading gives a more precise description of the goods.

The “Business Tools” kit 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., office upkeep). Finally, the articles are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. Therefore, the kit in question is 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 GRI 3(a), are to be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character.

Inasmuch as no essential character can be determined, GRI 3(b) does not apply. GRI 3(c) states that, if neither GRI 3(a) nor GRI 3(b) applies, merchandise shall be classified in the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those equally meriting consideration. After examining the sample, this office is of the opinion that the dust blower (subheading 8414.59.6060, HTS), letter opener (subheading 8441.10.0000, HTS), pencil sharpener (subheading 8467.29.0090, HTS) and paper shredder (subheading 8441.10.0000, HTS) all merit equal consideration. In accordance with GRI 3(c), the applicable subheading for the “Business Tools” kit will be subheading 8467.29.0090, HTS. which provides for tools for working in the hand, pneumatic, hydraulic or with self-contained electric or nonelectric motor, and parts thereof: With self-contained electric motor: OtherOther. The rate of duty will be free.

You also suggest classifying the dust blower in subheading 8509.80.0095, HTS, which provides for electromechanical domestic appliances, with self-contained electric motor, other appliances, other. Exclusionary note (a) to EN 85.09 states that the heading does not cover: “Fans or ventilating or recycling hoods incorporating a fan, whether or not fitted with filters (heading 84.14)”. Examination of the dust blower shows that it falls within the guidelines set forth in the ENs to heading 8414, HTS. Thus, classification in subheading 8509.80.0095, HTS, would be precluded.

The applicable subheading for the dust blower #53000 will be 8414.59.6060, HTS, which provides for which provides for other centrifugal fans. The rate of duty will be 2.3 percent ad valorem.

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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: