CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085564 SLR

Gerald B. Horn, Esq.
Soller, Singer & Horn
No. 10 The Mews
421 Hudson Street
New York, New York 10014

RE: Fabric Sample Display Books from Canada

Dear Mr. Horn:

This ruling is in response to your letter of August 21, 1989, on behalf of your client, National Sample Card Co. of Montreal, Canada, requesting the classification of two sample books under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


Two fabric sample books were submitted for our examination. One sample book measures approximately 14 inches by 18 inches and contains fabric samples for Sears upholstery fabrics. The sample swatches range in size from 1-3/4 inches by 2 inches to 10 inches by 13 inches, and are glued onto paper containing printed matter and bound in a hard cover with a snap plastic closure. The second book called "Weave-Tex" contains paper-backed fabric samples measuring approximately 3-1/2 inches by 7 inches. Printed information appears on the back of the samples. A special fold-out section unveils smaller versions of these materials. The samples are bound by a hard-cover folder.

All of the fabric swatches are cut in Canada from fabric of United States origin. The rest of the materials, the covers, printed information cards and pages, binding, and any carrying accessories are of Canadian origin.

In your letter, you maintain that the fabric sample books should be classified under subheading 9813.00.20, HTSUSA, which provides for samples solely for use in taking orders for merchandise.



Should the subject fabric books be classified under 9813.00.20, HTSUSA, as requested, and, if not, what classification is appropriate?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes.

Heading 9813.00.20, HTSUSA, provides for samples solely for use in taking orders. Only those articles which qualify as samples per se are classifiable in 9813.

Here, the sample swatches entering the U.S. are presented for inspection in hard bound display books. As such, they are not samples per se. Classification under 9813, therefore, is precluded.

Heading 4905, HTSUSA, for "charts" and heading 4911, HTSUSA, for "other printed matter" appear to describe the fabric books in issue. In similar cases, however, HRL 081298, dated March 21, 1989, and HRL 084577, dated September 8, 1989, dismissed such assertions. (See enclosures.)

Various headings of the tariff provide for the components of the fabric sample displays. Heading 4802, HTSUSA, provides for binders, folders, and albums for samples, of paper or paperboard, such as the present hard-cover binders. Heading 4823 provides for other articles of paper or paperboard, such as the paper upon which the fabric samples are glued. Heading 6307 provides for other made up articles of textiles. GRI 2(b) refers to goods consisting of more than one material or substance as being classifiable according to GRI 3.

GRI 3(a), concerning preference for the heading giving the most specific description of the goods, does not resolve classification when, as here, each heading refers to part only of the materials contained in the composite goods.

GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods consisting of different materials are to be classified as if consisting of that material that gives them their essential character. The Explanatory Notes for GRI 3(b) indicate that "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 the relation to the use of the goods. -3-

In the case of both the upholstrey and "Weave-Tex" wall covering fabric display books, comparison of the textile portions with the non-textile materials indicates that it is the textile portions that impart the essential character of the goods. The binders and paper inserts only serve to support and display the samples, and are of no use in and of themselves. The primary use of these articles is to advertise and sell the textile products. Without the samples, the displays would have nothing to show.


The subject sample display books are classifiable in subheading 6307.90.9050, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up articles of textile, including dress patterns, other, other, other. The General rate of duty is 7 percent ad valorem.

Goods classified under 6307.90.9050, HTSUSA, which have originated in the territory of Canada, will be entitled to a reduced duty of 6.3 percent pursuant to the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement upon compliance with all applicable regulations.


John Durant, Director
Commerial Rulings Division