CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082976 SLR

Ms. Sharon C. Johnson
S. Johnson & Associates, Inc.
313 East Beach Ave.
Inglewood, CA 90302-3189

RE: "The Bumper Sticker Holder"

Dear Ms. Johnson:

This ruling is in response to your letter of August 12, 1988, on behalf of your client, Mr. Stephen Abrams, requesting the classification of a plastic bumper sticker holder under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The subject item is an envelope-like product measuring approximately 14-1/2 inches by 3-1/2 inches. It is made of two layers of clear, flexible plastic, heat sealed along three of its edges. One end is open and has a flap closure. The back has an adhesive-coated, pressure-sensitive surface protected by a peel-off strip of paper. The envelope is designed to be affixed to a portion of a motor vehicle, such as the bumper, and to provide a means of displaying alternating bumper stickers. Different stickers can easily be inserted into and removed from the envelope through the flap opening. This item will ultimately be sold with a cardboard header stating "Driving Statements - The Bumper Sticker Holder."


Whether the bumper sticker holder is classifiable as an accessory for motor vehicles or as a self-adhesive flat shape of plastic under the HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes. Two headings appear to describe the subject -2-

merchandise: Heading 8708, parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705; and Heading 3919, self- adhesive flat shapes of plastic.

Generally speaking, accessories are articles that are not needed to enable the goods with which they are used to fulfill their intended function. They must, however, somehow contribute to the effectiveness of the principal article (e.g., facilitate the use or handling of the principal article, widen the range of its uses, or improve its operation). The subject bumper sticker holder does not function in such a manner. Instead, it serves as a platform for the expression of ideas and viewpoints. This being the case, we need not explore the application of Heading 8708.

Heading 3919, HTSUSA, provides for self-adhesive plates, sheets, film, foil, tape, strip and other flat shapes, of plastic. It is the opinion of this office that the bumper sticker holder qualifies as a flat shape within the purview of Heading 3919. This is so, despite the fact that the product is composed of two layers of plastic instead of one.


The merchandise in issue is classifiable in subheading 3919.90.5050, HTSUSA, which provides for self-adhesive plates, sheets, film, foil, tape, strip and other flat shapes, of plastic, other. The applicable rate of duty is 5.8 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division