CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 959305 JAS

Ms. Laura Denny
CBT International, Inc.
110 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 1003
Long Beach, CA 90802

RE: NY A82094 affirmed; Staple and Glue Gun Kit; 28-Piece Fastener Tool Kit; Glue Gun, Staple Gun, Bit Driver Handle With Bits, Utility Knife, Power Scissors, and Assorted Fasteners, in Zippered Vinyl Case; Sets, GRI 3, Essential Character; Household Handtools, 8205.51.30, Electrothermic Appliance of a Kind Used for Domestic Purposes, Subheading 8516.80.80; HQ 083828

Dear Ms. Denny:

In your letter of May 30, 1996, on behalf of Alltrade, you request reconsideration of a ruling on a 28-piece fastener tool kit from Taiwan. A sample was submitted.


In NY A82094, issued to you on April 11, 1996, the Director, National Commodity Specialist Division, considered the tariff classification of a the Staple and Glue Gun Kit, model # 20035. It consists of a zippered vinyl case fitted with elastic loops that hold, among other things, a glue gun, a staple gun, and a plastic box with dividers containing assorted fasteners. These articles were held to be classifiable in the following subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS):

Vinyl case - 4202.92.90, HTSUS, Other containers with outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of other textile materials; Glue gun - 8516.79.00, HTSUS, Other electrothermic appliances; Glue sticks - 3506.10.50, HTSUS, Prepared glues and other adhesives; Staple gun 8205.59.55, HTSUS, Other handtools; Bit driver handle and bits - 8205.40.00, HTSUS, Screwdrivers and parts - 2 -

thereof; Carving knife and utility knife - 8211.93.00, HTSUS, Knives having other than fixed blades; Scissors - 9018.90.80, HTSUS, Instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences, other; Plastic box - 3924.90.55, HTSUS, Tableware, itchenware, other household articles of plastics, other; Picture hangers - 8302.50.00, HTSUS, Hat-racks, hat pegs, brackets and similar fixtures of base metal; Clothespins - 3926.90.65, HTSUS, Clothespins, of plastic spring type; Cup hooks - 7318.13.00, HTSUS, Steel screwhooks and screw rings; Nails - 7317.00.55, HTSUS, Steel nails of one piece construction, made of round wire; Paper clips - 8305.90.30, HTSUS, Paper clips and parts thereof, wholly of wire; Pushpins - 7319.30.50, HTSUS, Sewing pins and other pins of iron or steel; and Staples - 8305.20.00, HTSUS, Staples in strips, of base metal.

As you did in the initial ruling request of March 7, 1996, you maintain that under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(b), HTSUS, the Staple and Glue Gun Kit constitutes goods put up in sets for retail sale, with its essential character being, alternatively, the glue gun or the stapler gun. You cite numerous rulings in which various tool sets were held to qualify as sets for tariff purposes.


Whether the Staple and Glue Gun Kit is a set for tariff purposes.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6. - 3 - You cite the Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) which, at p. 4 under the caption RULE 3(b), state:

(X) For purposes of this Rule, the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" shall be taken to mean goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards).

You state the Staple and Glue Gun Kit clearly satisfies criteria (a) and (c), and satisfies criteria (b) in that the particular need or specific activity in this case is use for the home or office.

We do not agree. The RULE 3(b) ENs state further, on p. 5 that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" covers sets consisting, for example, of different foodstuffs intended to be used together in the preparation of a ready-to-eat dish or meal, and lists as an example components intended to be used together to make a spaghetti meal, i.e., uncooked spaghetti, grated cheese, and tomato sauce, all in a carton. The ENs continue by stating the Rule does not cover a can of shrimps, a can of pate de foie, a can of cheese, a can of sliced bacon and a can of cocktail sausages. In this case and in similar selections of products, the ENs direct that each item is to be classified separately in its own appropriate heading.

In our opinion, the tools in the Staple and Glue Gun Kit "for home or office use" is not a particular need or specific activity for purposes of GRI 3(b). While broadly speaking, the majority of the tools either perform or facilitate some type of joining or fastening, each performs a different specific function, i.e., gluing, cutting, stapling, drilling, etc. Customs traditionally classifies collections of similar articles individually. For example, a collection of articles in a zippered vinyl bag, to include, among other things, an emergency blanket, first aid booklet, flashlight, packs of aspirin tablets, - 4 -

sewing needle, de-icing fluid, safety pins, pliers, etc. - for use in motor vehicles for road emergencies - was held not to qualify as a set for tariff purposes because roadside emergencies are not a particular need or specific activity under GRI 3(b). The articles were held to be classifiable separately. HQ 083828, dated June 9, 1989.


The Staple and Glue Gun Kit, model # 20035, is not a set for tariff purposes. Under GRI 1, each of the articles included in the Kit is to be classified separately.

NY A82094, dated April 11, 1996, is affirmed.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification
Appeals Division