Ms. Jackie Benkler
W.J. Benkler, Inc.
1550 E. Higgins Rd, Suite 130
Elk Grove Village, IL 60005

RE: The tariff classification of clay cutting and modeling tools from China.

Dear Ms. Benkler:

In your letter dated February 25, 2010, on behalf of Polyform Products Company, you requested a tariff classification ruling. The samples you have submitted are being returned as requested.

You submitted five samples for review. Each of the following items is packaged for retail sale and said to be used for model clay projects:

Texture Makers (Item #ST1440) contains two flexible plastic sheets with highly embossed decorative patterns.  The texture makers are used to impress decorative texture patterns onto clay surfaces. 

Leaf Décor Beginner Project Guide (Item #ST1101) contains three printed instruction sheets, made of paper or paperboard.  The individual paperboard sheets are lithographically printed, in part, and measure approximately 8 ½” x 11”.  The lithographically printed sheets provide information on the required materials, application of techniques and helpful tips to create the Leaf Frame and Whitewash Votive project.  One sheet is printed with the basic instructions for the project. The two other sheets are printed with diagrams of each project showing exact patterns and details in the process of beginning the projects and completing a finished article.

Eight Piece Pottery Tool Set (Item #A8PS) that consists of the following tools: Needle Tool Loop Tool Ribbon Tool Potters Rib Wire Cutter Sponge Wood Modeling Tool Scraper

Essential Tool Kit (Item #ASESSKIT) that consists of the following tools: Clay Roller, made of plastic, used for rolling even sheets of clay. Super Slicer, consists of a stainless steel blade and two detachable handles, used to make clean cuts and edges in clay. 6 mm Style & Detail Tool, with Silicone and stainless steel working edges, used to shape and smooth clay. Texture Wheel, includes a plastic handle and two interchangeable plastic wheel heads, used to add texture and details to clay. Blunt Point Tool, made of plastic with two distinctive ends, used for forming and detailing clay. Clay Knife, made of plastic, used for cutting, smoothing and blending clay. Needle End Pointer, with a plastic handle and metal working edge, used to create lines, small holes, textures, fine details and patterns in clay.

Oven Bake Clay Template (Item # ACLTMP) is a flexible, rectangular clear plastic sheet. The sheet contains several circular die cuts in the middle, ranging in diameter from 1/8th of an inch (3mm) to 1 1/8 inches (28mm). There are ruler markings on two sides of the template. The ruler markings on the top of the template show measurement increments in centimeters, while the markings on the right side of the template show measurement increments in inches. The template is designed for use by those practicing the art of pottery, to measure quantities of clay and products made from clay.

The applicable subheading for the Texture Makers (Item #ST1440) will be 3926.90.9980, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for other articles of plastics, other. The rate of duty will be 5.3% ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the Leaf Décor Beginner Project Guide (Item #ST1101) will be 4901.10.0040, HTSUS, which provides for printed books, brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter, whether or not in single sheets: In single sheets, whether or not folded; Other.  The rate of duty will be Free.

The applicable subheading for the Essential Tool Kit (Item #ASESSKIT) will be 8205.59.5560, HTSUS, which provides for handtools (including glass cutters) not elsewhere specified or included; blow torches and similar self-contained torches; vises, clamps and the like, other than accessories for and parts of machine tools; anvils; portable forges; hand- or pedal-operated grinding wheels with frameworks; base metal parts thereof: other handtools (including glass cutters) and parts thereof: other: other: of iron or steel: other: other (including parts). The rate of duty will be 5.3% ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the Oven Bake Clay Template (Item # ACLTMP) will be 9017.80.0000, HTSUS, which provides for "Other" instruments for measuring length for use in the hand. The rate of duty will be 5.3% ad valorem.

You suggested classifying the Texture Makers (Item #ST1440) in subheading 3924.90.5600, HTSUS. That classification is incorrect because this item is not of the class or kind of merchandise that is principally used as household, hygienic or toilet articles.

You suggested classifying the Essential Tool Kit (Item #ASESSKIT) in subheading 8205.59.5510, HTSUS. The set was classified pursuant to General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(c) and the items that occur last in the tariff are found within subheading 8205.59.5560, HTSUS.

You suggest classification for the Oven Bake Clay Template in subheading 9017.20.8080, HTSUS, which covers other drawing, marking-out, or mathematical calculating instruments. Based on the information you provided, the template is not used for drawing or marking out, but rather to measure the length of clay and clay products.

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 World Wide Web at

Your inquiry does not provide enough information for us to give a classification ruling on The Eight Piece Pottery Tool Set (Item #A8PS). Your request for a classification ruling should include the following: Provide a cost breakdown for each item in the set. What type of metal is present in the handle and the point of the Needle Tool? If more than one metal is present, what metal predominates by weight? What is the material composition of the Loop Tool? Moreover, what is the specific type of metal of the working edge? What is the material composition of the Ribbon Tool? Moreover, what is the specific type of metal of the working edges? Describe the specific type of wood used to make the Potters Rib? What is the material composition of the Wire Cutter? Specifically, what type of wood and what type of metal are present? What is the material composition of the sponge? What type of wood is used to make the Wood Modeling Tool? The Scraper is said to be made of metal. What is the specific metal? When this information is available, you may wish to consider resubmission of your request. We are returning the samples. If you decide to resubmit your request, please include all of the material pertaining to this item that we have returned to you.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Kathy Campanelli at (646) 733-3021.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division