CLA-2 OT:RR:CTF:TCM H072718 TNA
Evans and Wood & Co.
612 E. Dallas Rd., Ste. 200
Grapevine, TX 76051
RE: Modification of NY N056197; Classification of scrapbooking stickers from China
Dear Ms. Quirk:
This letter is in reference to New York Ruling Letter (“NY”) N056197, issued to Evans and Wood & Company on April 23, 2009, concerning the tariff classification of three-dimensional (“3-D”) scrap booking stickers from China. In that ruling, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) classified Item #876516, a set of scrapbooking stickers, under subheading 4821.90.20, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”), as “paper and paperboard labels of all kinds, whether or not printed: other (than printed): self-adhesive.” Evans and Wood argue for classification in heading 4911, HTSUS, as “other printed matter.” We have reviewed NY N056183 and found it to be incorrect. However, we have found the correct classification for one item to be in a third heading, as other articles of paperboard. For the reasons set forth below, we hereby modify NY N056197 with respect to the classification of Item #876516. Your sample is being returned in accordance with your instructions.
Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. §1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI, notice proposing to revoke NY N056197 was published on April 8, 2015, in Volume 49, Number 14, of the Customs Bulletin. CBP received no comments in response to this notice.
In NY N056197, CBP classified four different packages of scrapbooking stickers from China. Only one of those packages, Item #876516, entitled “La Petites,” or “Fall Icons,” is at issue in this reconsideration. Item #876516 consists of die-cut representations of autumn-related items: a squirrel, acorns, leaves, and a rake in a basket full of leaves. These items are each made up of different materials. The leaves and acorns are made of paper and paperboard. The leaves also have plastic gems on them. The squirrel is made of felt, the basket is made of textile, and the rake and leaves are made of paper and paperboard. A sample of Item #876516 was received and examined by this office, and is being returned as per your request.
Whether lithographically printed stickers made of paper or paperboard or textile should be classified under subheading 4821.90.20, HTSUS, as paper and paperboard labels of all kinds, whether or not printed: printed: printed in whole or in part by a lithographic process or under subheading 4823.90.86, HTSUS, as other paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibers, cut to size or shape; other articles of paper pulp, paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibers?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUS) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied.
The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:
4821 Paper and paperboard labels of all kinds, whether or not printed:
4821.10.20 Printed in whole or in part by a lithographic process
* * *
4823 Other paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibers, cut to size or shape; other articles of paper pulp, paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibers:
* * *
4911 Other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs:
4911.91 Pictures, designs and photographs:
4911.91.30 Over 0.51 mm in thickness
4911.99.60 Printed on paper in whole or in part by a lithographic process
Note 12 to Chapter 48, HTSUS, states, in pertinent part, the following:
Except for the articles of heading 4814 or 4821, paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and articles thereof, printed with motifs, characters or pictorial representations, which are not merely incidental to the primary use of the goods, fall in chapter 49.
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“ENs”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).
The EN for heading 4821, HTSUS, states, in pertinent part:
This heading covers all varieties of paper and paperboard labels of a kind used for attachment to any type of article for the purpose of indicating its nature, identity, ownership, destination, price, etc. They may be of the stick-on type (gummed or self-adhesive) or designed to be affixed by other means, e.g., string.
These labels may be plain, printed to any extent with characters or pictures, gummed, fitted with ties, clasps, hooks or other fasteners or reinforced with metal or other materials. They may be perforated or put up in sheets or booklets.
Self-adhesive printed stickers designed to be used, for example, for publicity, advertising or mere decoration, e.g., “comic stickers” and “window stickers,” are excluded (heading 49.11).
The heading does not cover “labels” consisting of a relatively strong sheet of base metal covered on one or both sides with a thin sheet of paper, whether or not printed (headings 73.26, 76.16, 79.07, etc., or heading 83.10).
The EN to subheading 4821.10, HTSUS, states, in pertinent part:
This subheading covers all printed labels regardless of the significance or extent of the printing thereon. Labels printed, for example, with lines or other simple borders or merely incorporating small motifs or other symbols are therefore regarded as “printed” for the purposes of this subheading.
The EN for heading 4823, HTSUS, states, in pertinent part:
This heading includes:
(A) Paper and paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibres, not covered by any of the previous headings of this Chapter:
in strips or rolls of a width not exceeding 36 cm;
in rectangular (including square) sheets of which no side exceeds 36 cm in the unfolded state;
cut to shape other than rectangular (including square)…
(B) Articles of paper pulp, paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibres, not covered by any of the previous headings of this Chapter nor excluded by Note 2 to this Chapter.
Thus the heading includes:
(1) Filter paper and paperboard (folded or not). Generally these are in shapes other than rectangular (including square), such as circular filter papers and boards…
(3) Paper and paperboard, of a kind used for writing, printing or other graphic purposes, not covered in the earlier headings of this Chapter, cut to shape other than rectangular (including square)….
The EN to heading 4911, HTSUS, states, in pertinent part, the following:
This heading covers all printed matter (including photographs and printed pictures) of this Chapter (see the General Explanatory Note above) but not more particularly covered by any of the preceding headings of the Chapter…
Certain printed articles may be intended for completion in manuscript or typescript at the time of use but remain in this heading provided they are essentially printed matter (see Note 12 to Chapter 48)…
On the other hand, certain articles of stationery with printing which is merely incidental to their primary use for writing or typing are classified in Chapter 48 (see Note 12 to Chapter 48 and in particular the Explanatory Notes to headings 48.17 and 48.20)….
The heading includes the following in addition to the more obvious products:…
(10) Self-adhesive printed stickers designed to be used, for example,
for publicity, advertising or mere decoration, e.g., “comic stickers” and “window stickers.”…
The following articles, in particular, are also excluded from this heading:…
(b) Goods of heading 39.18, 39.19, 48.14 or 48.21 or printed paper
products of Chapter 48 in which the printed characters or pictures are merely incidental to the primary use of the products.
We begin by noting that the scrapbooking stickers of Item #876516 are all made of different materials. The leaves, acorns, the rake and the leaves are all made of paper and paperboard, which are provided for in Chapter 49, HTSUS. Furthermore, the leaves and acorns have plastic on them, which is provided for in Chapter 39, HTSUS. The squirrel is made of felt, which is provided for in heading 5602, HTSUS. The basket is made of textile, whose classification in the headings of Section XI, HTSUS, depends on the specific material. Thus, no single heading completely describes the subject merchandise, and it cannot be classified under GRI 1. As a result, the analysis moves to GRI 3(a). No single heading under consideration most specifically describes the subject merchandise. Thus, the analysis moves to GRI 3(b), and we consider whether Item #876516 can be considered a set for classification purposes. GRI 3(b) states, in pertinent part, that:
When, by application of Rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows: …
Mixtures, composite goods consisting or different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.
Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) states, in pertinent part, that:
The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, weight, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of the constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.
Explanatory Note (X) to GRI 3(b) states, impertinent part, that:
For the purposes of this Rule, the term “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 needs 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).
The merchandise in question contains multiple items, made of multiple materials, that are put up together in a single package to be sold as such to the consumer. Furthermore, the merchandise consists of stickers with an autumn theme that are put up together as materials for scrapbooking, which is a specific activity. As a result, the merchandise constitutes a set under GRI 3(b) and must be classified according to its essential character. See Explanatory Note IX to GRI 3(b).
One item in the subject merchandise, the squirrel, is made of felt. One item, the basket, is made of textile. The merchandise’s other items, such as the leaves, the acorns, and the rake, are made of paper, and the leaves also contain plastic gems. Hence, the greatest surface area and number of items in this merchandise are represented by the paper material. As a result, we find that the paper constitutes the essential character of this set.
In NY N056197, CBP classified the subject merchandise under heading 4821, HTSUS. Upon reconsideration, we note that heading 4821, HTSUS, provides for paper labels used to give information about the merchandise to which they are affixed. Such labels tend to indicate the nature, identity, ownership, destination, price, etc. of this merchandise. See EN 48.21. The types of labels that CBP has typically classified in heading 4821, HTSUS, for example, have identified merchandise as gifts or have provided other information about the merchandise such as the country of origin. See, e.g., NY N081716, dated November 4, 2009; NY N081718, dated November 4, 2009; NY N058601, dated May 15, 2009.
By contrast, the subject merchandise consists of stickers in various shapes that depict acorns, leaves, and other items associated with autumn. They are intended to decorate objects rather than giving information about them. In addition, they are three-dimensional and have decorations that are designed to make them appear more so. This further distinguishes them from the flat paper labels that are classified in heading 4821, HTSUS. As a result, the subject merchandise is not described by the terms of heading 4821, HTSUS, and we examine other headings.
In its request for reconsideration, Evans and Woods requests classification in heading 4911, HTSUS, as “Other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs.” It is not disputed that the subject stickers are self-adhesive and are made of lithographically printed paper. Citing CBP’s Informed Compliance Publication entitled “Decals, Decorative Stickers and Window Clings,” dated January 2007, Evan and Wood argues that the difference between printed paper labels of heading 4821, HTSUS, and the printed paper stickers of heading 4911, HTSUS, is a matter of principal use. The company therefore argues that because its merchandise is decorative rather than utilitarian, it should be classified under heading 4911, HTSUS.
In order to be classified in heading 4911, HTSUS, the printed motifs, characters or pictorial representations must determine the nature of the merchandise rather than being merely incidental to the primary use of the goods. See Note 12 to Chapter 48, HTSUS; EN 49.11. As Evans and Woods notes, the products of heading 4821, HTSUS, are utilitarian and those of 4911, HTSUS, are generally decorative. However, this is not the only factor for determining classification in either heading. Note 12 to Chapter 48, HTSUS, specifically states that the printing, characters or motifs on products of Chapter 48, HTSUS, is “merely incidental” to those products. This is in contrast to the printing, characters, or motifs on products of heading 4911, HTSUS, which define the nature and use of the product.
In the present case, the subject stickers are lithographically printed. However, it is the shapes of the stickers, not the printing, that conveys the autumn themes of this merchandise. The acorns, squirrel, leaves, etc. of the subject stickers have been produced by cutting the printed stickers into their specific shapes. Furthermore, these stickers have not been printed with any lettering or photographs that would convey any motifs. Thus, the printing on these stickers conveys their color, but little else. As a result, the printing is “merely incidental” to these stickers, and they cannot be classified in heading 4911, HTSUS.
Heading 4823, HTSUS, provides for “Other paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibers, cut to size or shape; other articles of paper pulp, paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibers.” It includes articles of paper that have been cut to a shape other than rectangular. Merchandise of this heading is cut to a width and length that does not exceed 36 cm. See heading 4823, HTSUS; EN 48.23. Item #876516 consists of paper stickers that have been cut to an exact shape and size that is smaller than 36 cm. As a result, the subject merchandise meets the terms of heading 4823, HTSUS, and will be classified there. This conclusion is consistent with prior CBP rulings, which have classified self-adhesive, lithographically printed stickers of the kind used for scrapbook embellishments in heading 4823, HTSUS. See, e.g., NY N040239, dated October 30, 2008; NY L83150, dated March 17, 2005.
Under the authority of GRIs 3(b), Item #876516 is provided for in subheading 4823.90.86, HTSUS, which provides for other paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding, and webs of cellulose fibers, cut to size or shape; other articles of paper pulp, paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibers: other: other: other: other: other. The applicable duty rate is free.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the internet at www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
NY N056197, dated April 23, 2009, is MODIFIED with respect to the classification of Item #876516.
In accordance with 19 U.S.C. §1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.
Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division