Mr. Joel McClure
15 Koch Road
Corte Madera, CA 94925
RE: The tariff classification of a 10-piece Garden Tool Kit from Taiwan.
Dear Mr. McClure:
In your letter dated June 23, 2000, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The product you intend to import is a 10-piece Garden Tool Kit. You state the kit consists of:
(six separate tools:
(Transplanter: Painted steel tool, wood handle
(Cultivator-with blade: Painted steel tool, wood handle
(Hand Trowel: Painted steel tool, wood handle
(Dibble: Painted steel tool, wood handle
(Anvil Pruner: Carbon-steel blade, metal body, PVC grip
(Ratchet Pruner: Carbon-steel blade, plastic/PVC grip/handle
(one adjustable 6-way hose sprayer water nozzle: brass stem, metal body, fiberglass-reinforced nylon lever
(one roll of twist-tie-type wire: Metal wire (PVC coated) on a holder/dispenser
(one foam-rubber kneeling pad: flat, rectangular foam-rubber pad
(one pair of gardening gloves: heavily coated (with rubber) cotton gardening glove with sewed on ribbed cuff
(plastic carrying case: carrying case is manufactured of molded plastic and is specially shaped and fitted on the interior to hold various gardening tools
We believe that the gardening set meets the explanatory note definition of “goods put up in sets for retail sale.” First, the gardening set consists of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in two different headings. Secondly, the items are put up together to carry out the specific activity of gardening and the items will be used together or in conjunction with one another. Lastly, the articles are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. We thus believe that the gardening set qualifies as a set of GRI 3(b); and we must then determine which item imparts the essential character to the set.
The factor which determines essential character may be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. We believe that in this instance, the six separate tools impart the essential character to the gardening tool set. They are the most significant components of the set which will be used to perform the gardening activity. Based on GRI 3(b), we find that the tool set is classifiable as if consisting only of the hand tools. Since the tools are provided for in heading 8201, we turn to their classification at the subheading level.
The set includes six hand tools for working in the garden. They include a transplanter, cultivator, hand trowel, dibble, anvil pruner and ratchet pruner. They are all made of steel with wooden or plastic handles or grips. We find that the tools are equally important within the set and that there is no single significant feature that distinguishes one from the other. Thus, we cannot ascertain which of the hand tools in this set imparts the essential character. Accordingly, GRI 3(c) states that when goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. The gardening tools are classifiable under subheadings 8201.30.00, 8201.50.00 and 8201.90.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). The applicable subheading for the 10-piece garden tool kit with its fitted carry case is classifiable based on the trowel, dibble and transplanter under subheading 8201.90.60, HTS, which provides for Handtools of the following kinds and base metal parts thereof: . . . Other handtools of a kind used in agriculture, horticulture or forestry, and parts thereof: other. The rate of duty will be free.
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 Kathy Campanelli at 212-637-7025.
Robert B. Swierupski