CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953087 ch

Robert Howell
Team Action Sportcards
P.O. Box 20114
431 Boler Road
London, Ontario N6K 2K0

RE: Sports card; hockey trading card; business card; trade advertising material; GRI 6; paper printed by a lithographic process; 4911.99.6000; 4911.10.0080.

Dear Mr. Howell:

This is in response to your letter of December 8, 1992, requesting tariff classification, marking requirements and payment terms for applicable duties under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), with respect to certain hockey trading cards and business/advertising trading cards. Samples were provided to our office for examination.

A ruling addressing the marking requirements for these items will be issued to you under separate cover.

Please be advised that Customs duties are payable within ten days of entry of the merchandise.


The first sample is an "O-Pee-Chee" brand ice hockey trading card. One side of the card contains a photo of a hockey player, while the other side contains a compilation of the player's statistics and other information regarding his performance. The card appears to have been printed by a lithographic process.

The second sample is a business/advertising card modelled after a sports card. One side of the card contains a picture of an employee of CIBA Pharmaceuticals. Appearing beneath the picture is the legend "TEAM HABITROL (R) -- CIBA Pharmaceuticals." The other side of the card appears as follows:

We are pleased to introduce our exciting new product HABITROL (R). For information about HABITROL (R) please contact:

CIBA Pharmaceuticals 6860 Century Avenue Sheila Limber, Mississauga, Ont. L5N 2W5 B.Sc.(Hons.), A.P.M.R. Tel: (416) 821-4420

Victoria, B.C. Medical Representative Tel: (604) 474-5245

This item also appears to have been printed by a lithographic process.


What are the proper tariff classifications for the ice hockey trading card and the business/advertising trading card?


Ice Hockey Card

The "O-Pee-Chee" ice hockey card was the subject of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087358, dated November 7, 1990. In that ruling we found that this item was classified under subheading 4911.99.6000, HTSUSA. We see no reason to disturb this finding. Enclosed please find a copy of HRL 087358 for your reference.

Business/Advertising Card

The "Team Habitrol" card possesses the attributes of a business card; i.e. it provides the name, address, phone number, affiliation and title of a business representative. In addition, the photograph of the Ciba Pharmaceutical representative on one side of the card lends it the appearance of a sports trading card. Finally, the trade name Habitrol appears in a prominent location on the card on three occasions and in capital lettering. Hence, unlike the ordinary business card, this article contains extensive advertising material for a product.

Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). 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 on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied in order.

Heading 4911, HTSUSA, appears in pertinent part as follows:

4911 Other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs:

4911.10.00 Trade advertising material, commercial catalogs and the like

4911.10.0080 Other


4911.91 Pictures, designs and photographs:

4911.99 Other


4911.99.60 Printed on paper in whole or in part by a lithographic process

4911.99.80 Other

In the past, we have found that business cards are classified as "other printed matter," pursuant to subheading 4911.99. See HRL 086745, dated July 3, 1990. As noted above, we have also classified sports cards under subheading 4911.99. However, subheading 4911.10 is the proper classification for trade advertising material under the terms of the schedule. Hence, this article appears to be classifiable in two or more subheadings under heading 4911.

GRI 6 states:

For legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the above rules, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. For the purposes of this rule, the relative section, chapter and subchapter notes also apply, unless the context otherwise requires. (Emphasis added).

The competing subheadings that occur at the same level in this instance are 4911.10, which provides for "trade advertising material," and 4911.99, which provides for "other." GRI 3(a), which is applicable in this case pursuant to GRI 6, states that when goods are classifiable under two or more headings, the heading that provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. The subheading which provides for "trade advertising material" is more specific than the subheading providing for "other." Accordingly, pursuant to GRI 6 and GRI 3(a), this item is classified under subheading 4911.10, which provides for trade advertising material.


The ice hockey card is classifiable under subheading 4911.99.6000, HTSUSA, which provides for other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs: other: other: other: printed on paper in whole or in part by a lithographic process. The applicable rate of duty is 0.4 percent.

The business card is classifiable under subheading 4911.10.0080, HTSUSA, which provides for other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs: trade advertising material, commercial catalogs and the like, other. This provision is currently Free of duty.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director