CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 959780 ALS

Ms. Sandra L. Haupt
Sr. Management Consultant
Tower Group International
128 Dearborn St.
Buffalo, NY 14207-3198

RE: Plastic Hinged Cases for Computer Diskettes

Dear Ms. Haupt:

This is in reference to your letter of August 19, 1996, to our New York office requesting reconsideration of ruling DD A82893, dated May 6, 1996, regarding the subject product. Your request was referred to this office for reply. We regret the delay in responding.


The item under consideration is a soft pliable molded case of plastic, approximately 4 inches by 4 inches by 3/4 inch. The sides are hinged to permit ready access to the content thereof and to permit secure closing and easy opening of the case. The item is a shell without any inserts.

A ruling request of April 24, 1996, requested the classification of these cases in heading 8473 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA) as parts and accessories of automatic data processing equipment. The current inquiry acknowledges that these cases were properly excluded from heading 8473, HTSUSA, "since they are not 'parts and accessories' of Automatic Data Processing Equipment." The current inquiry states that the holding in DD A82893 that the cases were classified in subheading 3926.10.0000, HTSUSA, Other articles of plastics...Office or school supplies" is incorrect. It is suggested that the cases are classifiable in subheading 3923.10, HTSUSA, which provides for ..."articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics...boxes, cases, crates and similar articles."

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ISSUE: Are molded plastic cases for computer diskettes which have no inserts classifiable in subheading 3923.10.0000, HTSUSA, as articles for packing and conveying or subheading 3926.10.0000, HTSUSA, as office or school supplies?


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) set forth the manner in which merchandise is to be classified under the HTSUSA. GRI 1 requires that classification is to be determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied, taken in order.

The article under consideration is a molded plastic case which is designed to hold computer diskettes. It is stated that the article, packaged in a 5 case travel pack, is designed to pack and convey diskettes without their being damaged. The inquirer suggests that these articles should be classified in subheading 3923.10.0000, HTSUSA, the provision for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics...boxes, cases, crates and similar articles. In considering these arguments we note that the article has nothing in its construction which particularly suits it for travel. It has no handles, compartment or padding which would offer such protection. While it is stated that these cases are diskette travel packs, we note that the pictorial representations on the cardboard sleeve serving as the outer wrapper of a package of 5 of the subject cases, shows them displayed on what appears to be an office desk. There is no indication as to what capabilities these cases present which permits them to better convey the diskette than the clamshell housing in which the computer media is packaged. We believe that the primary purpose of the cases is to store and protect diskettes from dust and other contaminants. We further believe that the various colors of the cases make them particularly suitable for an office environment and the indexing of diskettes on a variety of subjects..

Based on aforementioned information, we do not believe that the instant plastic cases are designed to transport bulk goods or commercial goods. We believe that they are designed for the benefit of the individual user at a particular location and that the ability to transport these cases to a remote location is incidental to the primary use. As noted in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 955047, dated October 6, 1994, "It is clear that this heading (3923) provides for containers used for the packing or conveyance of bulk goods and commercial goods, not personal items." . Accordingly, we have concluded that the cases are designed to be primarily utilized at a fixed location(s), i.e., an office, school, or similar location, and would be properly classified in the provision for "Other articles of plastics ....: Office or school supplies.

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Small soft pliable molded plastic cases designed to hold computer diskettes, are classified under subheading 3926.10.0000, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other articles of plastics...: Office or school supplies. Such articles are currently subject to a general rate of duty of 5.3 percent ad valorem

DD A82893, dated May 6, 1996, is hereby affirmed.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division