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NY N023052

March 4, 2008



TARIFF NO.: 8471.30.0100, 4202.92.9026

Mr. James Carneiro
Dell Inc.
One Dell Way
Mail Stop PN3-13
Round Rock, TX 78682

RE: The tariff classification of a laptop computer case from Malaysia

Dear Mr. Carneiro:

In your letter dated January 16, 2008 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Your request covers the classification of “protective sleeves” when imported with portable digital automatic data processing machines classified in subheading 8471.30 (laptop computers), and also when imported separately. The submitted sample is being retained by this office.

The item you refer to as a “Protective Sleeve” is a case for a laptop computer. It is constructed with an outer surface of man-made textile material. The case has one interior storage compartment without additional features. It is secured by a flap magnetic closure. It is of a substantial construction and designed for repetitive use.

The sample case model submitted measures approximately 10 inches by 13 inches. It has the Dell trademark logo affixed to its exterior and the XPS trademark logo etched in its trim. You state the “sleeves” are designed to fit the appropriate dimensions (length, width, and depth) of XPS notebook computers. This ruling does not determine the classification of an XPS notebook computer.

When imported with a laptop computer, you request classification of the case in subheading 8471.30.0100 per GRI 5(a). You state GRI 5(a) applies such that the “sleeves” are classified with its notebook computers. While the case does fit a laptop computer, it is not the type of container within the meaning of GRI 5(a).

For GRI 5(a) to apply, all its terms must be met. GRI 5(a) EN (I)(4) provides that GRI 5(a) "shall be taken to cover only those containers which . . . are of a kind normally sold with such articles . . ." GRI 5(a) provides in pertinent part that certain cases ". . . shall be classified with such articles [the articles with which they were entered] when of a kind normally sold therewith." For example, the "normally sold with" inquiry of GRI 5(a) EN (I)(4) is with respect to industry practice, as opposed to the requestor’s practice. You present no evidence of the commercial reality of the laptop computer industry with respect to whether “sleeves” or cases are normally sold with laptop computers. Criterion of EN (I) (4) has not been met. The “sleeves” are accessories that the notebook computer purchaser may or may not choose to purchase.

When imported separately, without a laptop computer, you request classification of the case in subheading 8473.30.5100 as a part or accessory of a laptop computer. Heading 8473, which provides for parts and accessories suitable for use solely or principally with machines of headings 8469 to 8472, excludes covers, carrying cases and the like.

To qualify as a set, the computer case must be packaged and put up for retail sale with a laptop computer that meets the conditions set forth in Note 5 (A) to Ch. 84, HTSUS. When imported together with a notebook computer for the purposes of protecting the computer during transport, the "essential character" of this retail set is exemplified by a notebook computer classified in subheading 8471.30.

When imported separately, the applicable subheading for the computer case will be 4202.92.9026, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides, in part, for other bags and containers, with outer surface of textile materials, other, other, other, of man-made fibers. The duty rate will be 17.6 percent ad valorem.

HTSUS 4202.92.9026 falls within textile category 670. With the exception of certain products of China, quota/visa requirements are no longer applicable for merchandise which is the product of World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries. Quota and visa requirements are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information on quota and visa requirements applicable to this merchandise, we suggest you check, close to the time of shipment, the "Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas" which is available on our web site at www.cbp.gov. For current information regarding possible textile safeguard actions on goods from China and related issues, we refer you to the web site of the Office of Textiles and Apparel of the Department of Commerce at otexa.ita.doc.gov.

The applicable subheading for the computer case imported with a laptop personal computer as a set will be 8471.30.0100, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for "Automatic data processing machines and units thereof Portable digital automatic data processing machines, weighing not more than 10 kg, consisting of at least a central processing unit, a keyboard, and a display." The rate of duty will be free.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

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 Denise Faingar at 646-733-3010.


Robert B. Swierupski

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