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NY N023477

March 14, 2008



TARIFF NO.: 9609.90.8000

Mr. Darren Lenox
300 Tower Parkway
Lincolnshire, IL 60069-3640

RE: The tariff classification of water soluble color sticks from Mexico

Dear Mr. Lenox:

In your letter dated February 14, 2008 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample is identified as Alphacolor Watercrayons, item# 505008. This item is comprised of twelve water soluble color sticks of various colors. Each color stick is cylindrical in shape and measures 2-5/8” in length. A protective band of plastic sheeting that measures 1-3/4” by 2” is wrapped around the central part of each color stick. You have described this item as being comprised of “concentrated water soluble tempera paints in solid stick form.” You have stated that “These are similar to traditional water colors, only in stick form rather than cake form. A wet brush may be applied and used like traditional water colors, or used for drawing by hand (dry or wet).” As you requested, the sample will be returned to you.

You have also stated that your production facility in Mexico believes that this item is correctly classified in subheading 3213.10.0000. You have suggested that subheading 9609.90.8000 would be a more appropriate classification for this item. We agree with your suggestion rather than that of your facility in Mexico.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN’s) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the EN’s provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the system. CBP believes the EN’s should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

EN 32.13 states “This heading covers prepared colours and paints of a kind used by artists, students or signboard painters, modifying tints, amusement colours and the like (water colours, gouache colours, oil paints, etc.), provided they are in the form of tablets or put up in tubes, small jars or bottles, pans or in similar forms or packings.” Therefore, heading 3213 does not include items that are in stick form. In addition, EN 32.13 also states that this heading does not include crayons, pastels or similar articles.

Each of the color sticks of the instant item is composed of different pigments along with both a liquid and a wax form of glycol and a dispersant, among other materials. The composition and form are of a class or kind of merchandise commonly known as water soluble pastels. The packaging literature states “Concentrated water soluble tempera crayons in solid sticks. Use with a wet brush or dip in water and draw or splatter.” However, this product can also be used dry for drawing by hand.

The applicable subheading for item# 505008 will be 9609.90.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for pencils (other than those pencils of heading 9608), crayons, pencil leads, pastels, drawing charcoals, writing or drawing chalks and tailors’ chalks: other: other. 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 Gary Kalus at 646-733-3055.


Robert B. Swierupski

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