CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086897 ALS
Mr. Niels Jespersen
Bonnier Publications A/S
2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
RE: Lithographed home-sewing patterns with instructions
Dear Mr. Jespersen:
This is in response to your letter of March 29, 1990,
requesting information as to the Customs duties on printed
home-sewing patterns which are to be printed in the Federal
Republic of Germany, shipped to the United States and inserted
into a magazine to be published and distributed in this country.
A sample of the merchandise was included with your request.
The sample article is a large sheet of tissue paper with
home-sewing patterns and instructions, apparently printed by the
lithographic process. The sample is entitled "Fashion and
Crafts", "Step-by-Step", "Doll Pattern", "Blazer Pattern" and
Printed on the pattern sheet are the shapes of fabric parts,
instructions for selecting the proper size, marking patterns on
fabric and tracing the patterns. The patterns are not precut.
The ultimate consumer may cut them out and use them directly on
fabric or trace them onto tissue paper.
The sample provided does not specify the types of garments
which will be the subject of the future patterns nor the gender
of the intended wearer of the garments.
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What is the proper classification of lithographically
printed home-sewing patterns?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
The classification of merchandise under the Harmonized
Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is
governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in
order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first in
accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative
section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods
and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the
remaining GRI's may be applied, taken in order.
In reviewing the headings which might be applicable to your
article, we noted two possible headings; heading 4823 and heading
4911, in Chapter 48 and 49, HTSUSA, respectively. Heading 4823
covers paper, paperboard or cellulose wadding, or articles
thereof. Heading 4911 covers printed matter, including printed
pictures and photographs.
Although the opinion of the international tariff
classification experts, which is not legally binding, expressed
in the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized System, is that dress
patterns, models and templates are classifiable under heading
4823, we have concluded that that heading is not applicable to
merchandise such as yours.
Customs Headquarters Ruling Letter 084758, dated March 2,
1990, concluded that the above Explanatory Notes reference was
only meant to cover cut to shape, paperboard patterns with no
printing or minimal printing of the sort used in the commercial
manufacturing industry. That conclusion was at least partially
based on Legal Note 11 to Chapter 48, HTSUSA, which is legally
binding, and provides that paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding
and articles thereof, printed with motifs, characters or
pictorial representations, which are not merely incidental to the
primary use of the goods, fall into Chapter 49, HTSUSA.
Accordingly, we have concluded that the articles which are the
subject of your inquiry are not classifiable in Chapter 48,
We next considered the provisions of Chapter 49, HTSUSA,
which generally provides that virtually all printed matter,
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illustrated or not, is classifiable thereunder. This chapter
includes such diverse goods as books, periodicals, sheet music,
signs, engineering plans, etc. Because of the instructional
nature of your articles and since the shapes on the pattern sheet
depict how the garment is to be cut and shaped rather than how it
looks, we have concluded that it should be classified under the
provision for other printed matter, other, printed on paper in
whole or in part by a lithographic process.
The home-sewing patterns you intend to import for and
insertion into and distribution with a United States produced
magazine are classifiable under the provision for other printed
matter, other, printed in whole or in part by a lithographic
process, under subheading 4911.99.6000, HTSUSA. Items classified
under this subheading are subject to a general duty rate of 0.4
per cent ad valorem.
This rate of duty will usually be assessed on the
transaction value of the merchandise; the price actually paid or
payable for the merchandise when sold for exportation to the
United States. Packing costs, selling commissions, assists,
royalty or license fees, and proceeds of a subsequent resale are
specific items which are added to the price paid by the buyer to
the seller to determine transaction value.
The United States does not presently have a value added tax.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division