CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952699 BC

TARIFF NO:. 4911.99.6000

Paul Condrell
207 Franklin Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3842

RE: Reconsideration of NYRL 877468; classification of lithographically printed dress patterns; home-sewing patterns; dress pattern kit; McCall's Patterns; periodical

Dear Mr. Condrell:

This responds to your letter of September 3, 1992, wherein you requested reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 877468, dated August 27, 1992.


New York Ruling Letter 877468 classified lithographically printed dress patterns for home-sewing use as "Other printed matter . . . : Other: Other: Other: Printed on paper in whole or in part by a lithographic process" under subheading 4911.99.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). That ruling described the dress patterns as a dress pattern kit consisting of three rectangular sheets of thin paper which have been lithographically printed with the outlines of fabric parts to be used in making a particular garment. Included on these sheets are various symbols and brief instructional notes. The patterns are not precut but must be cut by the user for use in cutting fabric and sewing the cut fabric parts together to make a garment. A separate printed sheet contains detailed instructions and illustrations. A paper envelope, printed with a size/yardage chart and pictures of variations of the finished garment, serves as a container for the kit.

The kit is entitled "McCall's Patterns." You state that it has been "published" ten times per year in a continuous series extending for over 100 years. Each issue has a unique design number displayed prominently on the front of the kit (the envelope). ISSUE:

What is the proper classification for the lithographically printed dress patterns at issue?


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) applied, as appropriate, in sequential order. General Rule of Interpretation 1 provides that classification is determined in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes.

The classification of dress patterns of the kind in question has been addressed by Customs before. In Headquarters Ruling Letters (HRL) 084758 (March 2, 1990) and 086897 (August 13, 1990), lithographically printed home-sewing dress patterns and instructions were classified under subheading 4911.99.6000, HTSUSA. The dress patterns at issue in these rulings are similar to the dress patterns at issue here. Neither of the cited rulings addressed specifically whether classification of the dress patterns as a periodical was appropriate, although a reading of HRL 086897 indicates that a general review of headings that might have been implicated was undertaken.

You contend that the dress patterns should be considered periodicals for the following reasons:

1.) The patterns are "published" regularly (ten times per year) and have been (published) in a continuous series for over 100 years;

2.) each "issue" is numbered and designates each issue's place in the series;

3.) in some countries, the kits are sold "through periodical distributors, in newsstands and in bookstores"; and

4.) the Library of Congress has assigned an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) to "McCall's Patterns."

Further, you cited the Explanatory Note (EN) for heading 4902, and you contend that "McCall's Patterns" falls within the meaning of "journals and other periodicals" contained therein.

The following is the EN for heading 4902 (emphasis in original):

The distinguishing feature of the publications of this heading is that they constitute one issue in a series under the same title published at regular intervals, each issue being dated (even by merely indicating the period of the year, e.g., "Spring 1966") and also frequently numbered. They may be unbound or bound in paper, but if otherwise bound or if consisting of more than one issue under a single cover, the are excluded (heading 49.01). These publications usually consist essentially of reading matter but they may also be profusely illustrated and may even consist mainly of pictorial matter. They may also contain advertising material.

The types of publications covered by the heading include:

(1) Newspapers, daily or weekly, . . .

(2) Journals and other periodicals, issued weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly or half-yearly, either in the form of newspapers or as paperbound publications. They may be mainly devoted to the publication of intelligence on subjects of a specialised nature or sectional interest (e.g., legal, medical, financial, commercial, fashion or sporting), in which case they are frequently published by and for organisations of the interests concerned. Or they may be of more general interest, such as the ordinary fiction magazine. These include periodicals published by or for named industrial concerns (e.g., motor car manufacturers) to promote interest in their products, staff journals normally having circulation only within the industrial, etc., organisations concerned and periodicals such as fashion magazines which may be issued by a trader or an association for publicity purposes.

You contend that the dress patterns should be classified as a periodical under subheading 4902.90.2060, HTSUSA: "Newspapers, journals and periodicals, whether or not illustrated or containing advertising material: Other: Other: Other." We believe that the EN demonstrates that the dress patterns are not periodicals. A reading of the EN shows that the heading covers printed materials consisting primarily of reading matter and, to a lesser extent, reading matter with profuse illustrations. To an even lesser extent, the materials may consist mainly of pictorial matter. The dress patterns do not fit any of these descriptions. Further, according to the EN, a periodical would be devoted mainly to publication of intelligence on "specialized" subjects or subjects of "sectional interest," such as legal, medical, financial, commercial, fashion, or sporting interests. Also, they may be of a more general interest, such as "the ordinary fiction magazine." The dress patterns do not fit these descriptions either.

You quote additional language from the EN: "Supplements such as pictures, patterns, etc., issued with newspapers or periodicals and normally sold therewith, are regarded as forming part of the publication." The patterns referenced here are not described. Nonetheless, whatever they may be, it is clear that they can be classified as periodicals only if they supplement a newspaper or periodical. Further, they must be patterns that are normally sold with the newspaper or periodical. We do not have that situation here.

Regarding the four reasons you put forward for the classification of the dress patterns under heading 4902, HTSUSA, we do not find them, individually or collectively, persuasive. The first does not quite fit the EN's description of regular publication. The second meets one minor, non-requisite aspect of the EN's general description of publications. The remaining two are without merit. We note that the issuance of the ISSN by the Library of Congress is not conclusive of the issue for classification purposes.

Based on the foregoing, we conclude that the dress patterns here at issue, known as "McCall's Patterns," are not periodicals as that term appears under heading 4902. New York Ruling Letter 877468 is affirmed.


The lithographically printed dress patterns at issue are classifiable under subheading 4911.99.6000, HTSUSA. They are not periodicals within the meaning of that term as it appears in heading 4902, HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division