CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084638 CB
Mr. D. G. McKenny
John V. Carr & Son, Inc.
P. O. Box 248
Champlain, New York 12919
RE: Classification of hair swatch books
Dear Mr. McKenny:
This ruling letter is in response to your inquiry of May 10,
1989, on behalf of Coloride, Inc., requesting a classification
ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
(HTSUSA), for hair swatch charts and books.
Two samples were submitted for classification. One of the
samples is a filled three-ring looseleaf binder whose cover and
pages appear to be made of paperboard covered with coated paper.
Several small, variously colored imitation hair swatches (made
of nylon filaments) are attached to the edge of each page;
printed captions adjacent to each swatch identify the shade by
name and number.
The other sample is in the form of a folder and the swatches
are displayed in conjunction with printed drawings of models'
faces. The books and charts represented by the samples will be
used by retailers to advertise and display hair colorings.
Whether the subject merchandise is classifiable under
Chapter 49, HTSUSA, as printed advertising material?
LAW AND ANALYSIS :
Classification under the HTSUSA is in accordance with 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 of the tariff and any relative
section or chapter notes; and then, if the headings or notes do
not otherwise require, in accordance with the remaining GRI's.
Heading 4911, HTSUSA, provides for "other printed matter,
including printed pictures and photographs." The Explanatory
Notes indicate that this heading is intended to cover all printed
matter of the chapter not more particularly covered by any
preceding headings. Goods classified under this heading must
therefore be, first of all, printed matter of the chapter.
The Explanatory Notes for Chapter 49, which constitute the
official interpretation of the tariff at the international level,
With the few exceptions referred to below,
this Chapter covers all printed matter of
which the essential nature and use is
determined by the fact of its being printed
with motifs, characters, or pictorial
. . .
For the purposes of this Chapter, the term
'printed' includes not only reproduction by
the several methods of ordinary hand
printing ... or mechanical printing ... but
also reproduction by duplicating machines ...
Thus, in considering classification under this heading we must
decide whether the essential nature and use of the hair swatch
charts and books samples is determined by the fact that they
The printing is of importance in the use of the goods to
advertise and sell the hair colors. It informs the customer as
to the hair color and color number of the product. However, the
"hair" samples are equally essential in the use of the display.
It is clearly important that the customer be able to see the
"hair" color itself. Thus, the printed text and the samples
assume equal importance; therefore, the goods are not essentially
printed matter and cannot be classified under heading 4911,
Various headings of the tariff provide for components of the
hair swatch charts and books. Heading 4823, HTSUSA, provides for
other articles of paper or paperboard. Heading 4802, HTSUSA,
provides for binders, folders, and albums for samples, of paper
or paperboard. Heading 6307 provides for other made up textile
articles. Neither of the sample displays appears to be fully
covered by any one heading; therefore, they cannot be classified
in accordance with GRI 1.
GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods consisting of
different materials are to be classified as if consisting of that
material that gives the goods their essential character.
According to the Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b), the 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.
With regard to the subject samples, comparison of the
textile portions (the nylon filaments) with the nontextile
materials indicates that it is the textile portions that provide
the essential character of the goods. The charts and books are
used to sell the hair coloring. Without the hair swatches, the
displays would have nothing to show.
The hair swatch books and charts are classified under
subheading 6307.90.9050, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up
textile articles. The rate of duty, for Canadian FTA-elegible
goods, is 6.3 percent. Otherwise, the rate of duty is 7 percent
Your samples will be returned to you under separate cover.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division