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NY N025521

April 24, 2008



TARIFF NO.: 9017.80.0000, 3926.10.0000, 4202.32.9550, 4811.90.9090

Ms. Sidestra Elvi
Liss Global, Inc.
7746 Dungan Road
Philadelphia, PA 19111

RE: The tariff classification of various items from China.

Dear Ms. Elvi:

In your letter dated March 24, 2008, you requested a tariff classification ruling. You submitted 4 samples, all of which will be returned to you as requested.

The 4 items are listed as follows:

1) BTS WC Geometry Set (Liss item # 9002101)

2) BTS WC Retractable Eraser (Liss item # 9002100)

3) BTS Coke Pencil Pouch (Liss item # 9002093)

4) BTS Index Card case with 50 cards (Liss item # 9002173)

The BTS WC Geometry Set (Liss item # 9002101) is described as having an easy carry plastic pouch with a slide zipper. Inside the pouch are a 6” aluminum ruler, an aluminum protractor, and 2 aluminum triangles.

The triangles have length measurements marked along their edges.

You propose classification in HTSUS 9017.20.80.

Although we agree that the items classifiable in HTSUS 9017 provide the essential character to the set, within HTSUS 9017, we find the items classifiable in HTSUS 9017.80 to equally merit consideration in supplying the essential character of the set and to be later in the HTSUS under its General Rule of Interpretation 3-c. See Headquarters Ruling Letter H007653 EMS, 8-24-07, regarding “equally merit.”

The applicable subheading for the BTS WC Geometry Set will be 9017.80.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “other” instruments for measuring length for use in the hand. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

Liss item # 9002100 is identified as a BTS WC retractable eraser. It consists of an eraser stick inside a molded plastic case. A plastic button that slides along the side of the case manually extends the eraser stick as it wears out at the surface. The shell has brush bristles at the tip to brush away the eraser dust. The retractable eraser is blister packed with an extra eraser stick.

You suggest classification in subheading 4016.92.000, HTSUS, which provides for rubber erasers. The eraser stick is made of a thermoplastic elastomer that you have not identified. Thermoplastic elastomers generally do not meet the tariff definition of synthetic rubber in Note 4(a) of Chapter 40, HTSUS, and are instead classified as plastics. The note describes synthetic rubber as “unsaturated synthetic substances which can be irreversibly transformed by vulcanization with sulfur into non-thermoplastic substances which, at a temperature between 18 and 29 degrees C, will not break on being extended to three times their original length, and will return, after being extended to twice their original length, within a period of 5 minutes, to a length not greater than 1 ½ times their original length.”

The applicable subheading for the retractable eraser, item 14380, will be 3926.10.0000, HTSUS, which provides for other articles of plasticoffice or school supplies. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

Liss item # 9002093 is identified as a BTS Coke Pencil Pouch. This product is a pencil case, being a generic utility pouch designed to contain personal effects during travel. It is manufactured with an exterior surface of polyester textile material. The interior of the pouch is lined with a non-woven material and secures by means of a top zipper closure. It measures approximately 8.25” (W) by 3.5” (H) by 0.25” (D).

The applicable subheading for the pencil case will be 4202.32.9550, HTSUS, which provides for provides for articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag, with outer surface of textile materials, other, other, of man-made fibers. The rate of duty will be 17.6% ad valorem

HTSUS 4202.32.9550 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.

You have submitted a sample designated as an Index Card Case with Fifty Cards, Mfg. Item # A68R1464 (Liss Item # 9002173) for our examination. You state in your letter that the country of origin is China. It is a flimsily constructed polypropylene case which contains white ruled index cards and five clear polypropylene tabbed dividers. You indicate in your letter that the holder measures approximately 5 3/8” (L) x 3 5/8” (W) x 1 ¼” (D) and is available in four colors: blue, red, green, and yellow. The sample is a one piece, rectangular shaped container glued together at the sides. It is designed with a die-cut orange panel attached to the fold-over flap that secures with a snap-lock closure. There is a pocket under the flap which holds a card label to identify its contents. The ruled index cards measure approximately 3.0” (W) x 5.0” (L). The card holder comes wrapped in clear cellophane plastic with a stick-on plastic display hook. The items, imported and packaged together for retail sale, will be considered a set for tariff purposes, noting General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

The article at issue is a composite good made up of different components – an index card holder and ruled index cards. As per GRI 3, goods are prima facie, when classifiable under two or more headings. Since there is no individual item that imparts the essential character to this set, classification will be in accordance with GRI 3(c), HTSUS, which requires that the item be classified in the heading that occurs last in numerical order among those that merit equal consideration. The tariff headings that merit equal consideration are as follows:

3926, HTSUS, which provides for other articles of plasticsoffice or school supplies.

4811, HTSUS, which provides for paper, surface-decorated or printed, other (than certain specified kinds).

Given that headings 39 and 48, HTSUS, are the headings that equally merit consideration, we conclude, by application of GRI 3(c), that the article at issue - the index card holder with fifty ruled index cards - is classifiable under the heading that occurs last in numerical order: 4811.90.9090, HTSUS. 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 James Sheridan at 646-733-3012.


Robert B. Swierupski

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