CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 951076 jb
Mr. Thomas E. Bernstein
Leeds Leather Products
4431 William Penn Highway
Murrysville, PA 15668
RE: "Pocket Secretary" (telephone/address book, calendar and
notebook); "President Writing Pad" (leather holder with pad
of writing paper); eo nomine provision; Heading 4820.
Dear Mr. Bernstein:
This is in response to your letter dated January 8, 1992 to
our New York office in which you requested a tariff
classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the
United States Annotated (HTSUSA) on the merchandise described
below. Samples were provided. Our response follows.
Two samples were received with you request: style number
1000-03, referred to as "Pocket Secretary", and 1000-01, referred
to as "President Writing Pad". Both items will be manufactured
The first item, "Pocket Secretary", is a 3 1/2 x 7 inch
folding leather case which contains three independent paper
articles: a telephone/address book, a 20-month engagement
calendar book, and a note pad. These are held in place by means
of cardboard appendages slipped into pockets on the inside of the
The second item, "President Writing Pad", is a 9 1/2 x 12
1/2 inch leather folder containing an 8 1/2 x 11 inch pad of
lined writing paper. The cardboard backing sheet of the pad is
slipped into a large pocket inside the leather folder, which
also incorporates a pen holder and an additional pocket for
Whether the subject merchandise is classifiable under
heading 4820 of the Harmonized Tariff of the United States
Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for, inter alia, notebooks,
letter pads, memorandum pads, diaries and similar articles?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the
General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that
classification is determined first in accordance with the terms
of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter
notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of
GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise
require, the remaining GRI's may be applied in the order of their
Style 1000-03, "Pocket Secretary"
Heading 4820, HTSUSA, provides for:
Registers, account books, notebooks, order books, receipt
books, letter pads, memorandum pads, diaries and similar
articles (emphasis added), exercise books, blotting pads,
binders (looseleaf or other), folders, file covers, manifold
business forms, interleaved carbon sets and other articles
of stationary, of paper or paperboard; albums for samples or
for collections and book covers (including cover boards and
book jackets) of paper or paperboard:
In Headquarters Ruling (HQ) 089960 dated February 10, 1992
and 089850 dated January 8, 1992, merchandise similar to the
submitted sample was examined. In those rulings it was decided
that an article which featured an address book, a note pad and
calendar was considered similar to a diary.
The term "diary" as defined by the Compact Edition of the
Oxford English Dictionary 1987, states:
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.
As was found in HQ 089960:
A similar article might be an address book for recording and
keeping important addresses and telephone numbers in a
single place for easy reference. The sample agendas are
designed to keep notes, memoranda, addresses and telephone
numbers in a single convenient location, as evidenced by the
address-telephone book and note pad. The calendar
facilitates daily record keeping. Customs considers heading
4820 to include within its scope diaries and similar
articles such as these.
The "Pocket Secretary", Style 1000-03, containing a
calendar, address book and note pad is designed to keep daily
records and memoranda. Customs does not consider the submitted
article to be bound. As such, proper classification is under
subheading 4820.10.4000, HTSUSA, as "other" diaries and similar
Style 1000-01, "President Writing Pad"
Heading 4820, HTSUSA, provides, inter alia, for notebooks,
memorandum pads, diaries, and similar articles. The term
"memorandum pad" is not defined per se in the dictionary, but
is found under two separate entries in Webster's Ninth New
Collegiate Dictionary 1991:
memorandum: 1. an informal record; also: a written reminder
pad: 4. a collection of sheets of paper glued together at
Considered as one term, a "memorandum pad" is an article
featuring a block of blank pages attached at one end to
facilitate note taking.
The submitted sample, by virtue of its design, a leather
folder incorporating a pen holder and additional pockets for
loose papers, emphasizes the distinctive function of the article.
The role of the "President Writing Pad" is to provide a
convenient and organized method in which to take notes.
Memorandum pads are specifically provided for under subheading
4820.10.2020, HTSUSA, under the provision for memorandum pads,
letter pads and similar articles.
Heading 4820, HTSUSA, provides, eo nomine, for the
merchandise at issue. Style 1000-03, "Pocket Secretary", is
classified 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. Style 1000-01, "President Writing Pad", is
classifiable under subheading 4820.10.2020, HTSUSA, under the
provision for diaries, notebooks, and address books, bound;
memorandum pads, letter pads and similar articles... memorandum
pads, letter pads and similar articles. The applicable rate of
duty is 4 percent ad valorem.
Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation
(the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) categories,
you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation
of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import
restraints or requirements.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division