CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950325 CRS
Mr. Matthew A. Garland
R.L. Swearer Company, Inc.
P.O. Box 471
Sewickley, PA 15108
RE: Executive planner with six ring binder; diary; address book;
not similar to containers of heading 4202; HRL 088430; EN 48.20;
Dear Mr. Garland:
This is in reply to your letter of August 28, 1991, to our
New York office, on behalf of Leeds Leather Products, in which
you requested a tariff classification ruling under the Harmonized
Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A
sample of the merchandise at issue was provided and is described
The merchandise in question is an executive organizer, style
1000-4, consisting of a leather case enclosing a six ring binder.
The planner contains assorted paper inserts including a calendar,
address book, note paper and sundry printed pages designed to
assist personal record-keeping, clear plastic storage pockets,
and ball point pen. The binder is not permanently mounted (e.g.,
with rivets or other fasteners) in the leather case, but is held
in place by means of plastic appendages which slip into pockets
on the inside cover of the article. The leather case measures
approximately 1" x 5" x 7" and fastens by means of a snap
closure. The organizer will be manufactured in Taiwan and will
be imported through the ports of Los Angeles and/or Pittsburgh.
The issue presented is whether a ringed leather binder that
houses, inter alia, an address book, calendar and ball point pen
is classifiable as a diary or as a container.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Two headings are relevant for the purposes of this ruling:
heading 4820, HTSUSA, which provides, inter alia, for notebooks,
diaries and similar articles; and heading 4202, HTSUSA, which
provides, inter alia, for wallets and similar containers.
Heading 4202 provides for a wide range of containers, among
which are included wallets and similar articles. In Headquarters
Ruling Letter (HRL) 088430 dated April 11, 1991, we stated with
regard to a tri-fold planner similar to the article in question:
We do not believe that heading 4202, HTSUSA, describes
a type of merchandise which would bring these goods
within the "similar containers" of that heading.
Although the "planner" may appear to be related to the
containers of heading 4202, HTSUSA, they are not
similar in that they are not designed or intended for
use in a similar manner, nor do they exhibit the
requisite physical attributes that Customs has found
common to goods of heading 4202, HTSUSA.
In Customs' opinion the executive planner in question is
therefore distinguishable from containers of heading 4202.
Heading 4820, however, provides for notebooks, diaries and
similar articles. The term "diary" is defined in The Compact
Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary 1987 as:
2. A book prepared for keeping a daily record, or
having spaces with printed dates for daily memoranda
and jottings; also applied to calendars containing
daily memoranda on matters of importance to people
generally, or to members of a particular profession,
occupation, or pursuit.
Id. at 321. The planner is designed to keep daily records and
memoranda. It contains, among other things, a calendar, an
address book, and sheets of paper on which to record purchases
and make notes. Accordingly, it is Customs' opinion that heading
4820 covers the class of merchandise at issue. Moreover, while
the planner contains a ball point pen, the pen is included merely
to complement the planner, and its value in relation to the whole
is slight. In this instance, Customs considers that heading 4820
contemplates, and thus includes within its scope, diaries that
may contain complementary goods, e.g., a pen, so long as the
complements do not alter the article's essential character.
The style 1000-4 organizer is classifiable in subheading
4820.10.4000, HTSUSA, under the provision for registers, account
books, notebooks, order books, receipt books, letter pads,
memorandum pads, diaries and similar articles; other. Articles
classifiable in this subheading are free of duty.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division