Meredith Franklin OEC Group
555 Pierce Road, Suite 210
Itasca, IL 60142

RE: The tariff classification of journals with Bible verses from China

Dear Ms. Franklin:

In your letter dated September 9, 2019, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Christian Art Gifts, Inc. Samples of two items were provided for our review and will be retained in our office as requested. The items under consideration are further described as follows:

The first sample, identified as item number JL056, is a journal that is bound with a faux leather cover and contains 240 pages with inspirational Bible verses printed on the bottom of each page. The journal cover is printed with the serenity prayer. It measures approximately 7.2" by 5.4" by 0.8".

The second sample, identified as item number JLW048, is a journal that is spiral bound with a hard paperboard cover and contains 192 pages with inspirational Bible verses printed on the bottom of each page. The journal cover is printed with a Bible verse. It measures approximately 8.4" by 6.5" by 1".

You propose the classification for both items in subheading 4901.99.0040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Printed books…Bibles, testaments, prayer books and other religious books. We disagree. Although each page is embellished with a Bible verse at the bottom, the use of the journals is dictated by the lined pages on which to write. The majority of each page is open to record thoughts, observations, notes etc. on any topic. We also note that you describe the products as “journals” in your submission. These features are in keeping with the diaries of heading 4820, HTSUS. The applicable subheading for the both items will be 4820.10.2010, HTSUS, which provides for Diaries, notebooks and address books, bound; memorandum pads, letter pads and similar articles: Diaries and address books. The rate of duty will be free.

Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., 9903.88.03, in addition to subheading 4820.10.2010, HTSUS, listed above.

The HTSUS is subject to periodic amendment so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Note cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading. For background information regarding the trade remedy initiated pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, you may refer to the relevant parts of the USTR and CBP websites, which are available at and respectively.

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 World Wide Web at

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, please contact National Import Specialist Charlene Miller at [email protected].


Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division