CLA-2 OT:RR:CTF:TCM W968178 BAS
Penny L. Elliott
Chersar Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 3025
Sarnia, Ontario N7T 7M1
RE: Classification of a Paperbound book; HQ 089388 modified
Dear Ms. Elliott:
This is in reference to Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 089388, dated July 12, 1991, which classified, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), certain paperbound printed books. In that ruling the products at issue were classified in subheading 4901.99.0075, HTSUSA, which provides for rack size paperbound books. We have reviewed HQ 089388 and determined the classification provided therein is incorrect at the statistical level. This ruling modifies HQ 089388.
Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S. C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed modification of HQ 089388, dated July 12, 1991, as described below, was published in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 41, Number 18, on April 25, 2007. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) received no comments during the notice and comment period that closed on May 25, 2007.
The book at issue is entitled, “What’s the Duty? The 1991 Smart Shopper’s Guide to Bringing Goods Back to Canada” and is a 38 page paperback measuring five and a half inches by eight and a half inches.” The publishing company is Chersar, Inc.
Is the subject merchandise classifiable in subheading 4901.99.0075, HTSUSA, which provides for “Printed books, brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter, whether or not in single sheets: Other: Other: Other: Other: Rack size paperbound books” or under subheading 4901.99.0092, HTSUSA, which provides for “Printed books, brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter, whether or not in single sheets: Other: Other: Other: Other: Other: Containing 5 or more pages each but not more than 48 pages each (excluding covers)”?
LAW AND ANALYSIS: Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) 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 GRIs may then be applied.
When interpreting and implementing the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The ENs, while neither legally binding nor dispositive, provide a guiding commentary on the scope of each heading, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).
Neither the HTS nor the ENs offer any definition of “rack size paperbound books.” Trade sources indicate that the American mass-market paperback, referred to as “rack size,” is approximately 6¾ inches --7 inches by 4? or 4¼ inches. See www.bookdist.com; www.alwdb.com; www.pw.org; www.sff.net/peope/dlylemacdonald/publishing.htm; and www.sizes.com/tools/books.htm. In addition, trade sources indicate that the mass market paperbacks are intended for non-bookstore outlets such as news stands, grocery stores, etc. They are often distributed in the same way as magazines and newspapers.
Trade sources state, further, that there are two basic kinds of paperbacks, one of which is market, the small “rack size book”- approximately 7 by 4 ½ inches, which “easily fits in the back pocket of a pair of jeans” and the other which is the trade paperback which is usually a larger or oversized softcover book. The subject merchandise, which measures 5 ½ by 8 ½ inches is clearly larger than the industry definition of a rack size or mass market book. It would be very difficult to imagine that the book at issue would fit into the back pocket of a pair of jeans as would a “rack size book” as contemplated by the trade source. The distribution outlet in this case is not determinative as it may be sold at either a bookstore or possibly in a newstand at an airport.
The classification of substantially similar merchandise was addressed in HQ 967939, dated April 21, 2006. The 5 ½” by 8 ½” paperback book at issue is substantially similar in construction and function to the 5” x 8” printed book at issue in HQ 967939. Although different topics and slightly different lengths, both are quick reference books and are approximately the same size.
In HQ 967939, it was determined that the paper book was properly classified under subheading 4901.99.0093, HTSUSA, which provides for “Printed books, brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter, whether or not in single sheets: Other: Other: Other: Other: Other: Containing 49 or more pages each (excluding covers).” As the subject merchandise is substantially similar to the merchandise addressed in the aforementioned ruling, the merchandise would be classified accordingly.
HOLDING: The proper classification for the paperback printed book at issue is subheading 4901.99.0092, HTSUSA, which provides for "Printed books, brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter, whether or not in single sheets: Other: Other: Other: Other: Containing 5 or more pages each, but not more than 48 pages each (excluding covers)." The general column one rate of duty is free.
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
In HQ 089388, although the paper book was correctly classified in heading 4901, HTSUSA, the merchandise was improperly classified as to the subheading within 4901, HTSUSA. Accordingly, HQ 089388 is modified to reflect the above classification. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. § 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.
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 www.usitc.gov.
Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division