Tariff Classification Advance Ruling
Pantone Plastics Selector Chips


Ms. Virginia Ngai Poon
Color Dépôt Inc.
1541 Place Victor-Hugo
Montréal, QC  H3C 4P3

Date of issuance of ruling: October 20, 2015

This is in response to your request for an advance ruling on the tariff classification of Pantone Plastics Selector Chips. This product is exported from Pantone LLC, Carlstadt, New Jersey, U.S.A.

TRS Number: 272087
Classification Number: 4911.10.00.39
Effective Date: October 20, 2015

Product Description

According to the information submitted, the products are individual color selector plastic chips. They are used to provide a way to communicate and specify colour choices to clients and manufacturers. As the thickness of plastic affects its transparency and the colour effect, each chip has three steps of thickness: 1, 2 and 3 mm. Each selector chip measures 27 x 33 mm (1.1 inches x 1.3 inches) and is identified with a distinct color number printed on it. The colour chips are usually put into special displays or three-ring binder catalogues (with special molded pages to house the chips) to allow easy selection. This request is specifically for loose chips as they can be ordered separately or by colour sections.

Analysis and Justification

Legal Note 2 to Section VII states that: "Except for the goods of heading 39.18 or 39.19, plastics, rubber, 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 printed numerical reference identifying the colour on each chip is not merely incidental as it is part of a standard language for colour communication. It is the means by which the client will identify the colour wanted for his product. Because of the significance and role of the printed code, the goods at issue are considered products of Chapter 49.

The General Explanatory Notes to Chapter 49 state that the Chapter covers all printed matter of which the essential nature and use is determined by the fact of its being printed with motifs, characters or pictorial representations. Heading 49.11 covers other printed matter not more particularly covered by any of the preceding headings of the Chapter.


Section 10 of the Customs Tariff directs that classification of imported goods shall be determined in accordance with the General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System. Section  11 of the Customs Tariff states that in interpreting the headings and subheadings, regard shall be had to the World Customs Organization's (WCO) Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.

General Interpretative Rule 1 (GIR 1) directs that titles of Sections, Chapters and sub-Chapters are provided for ease of reference only. For legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the heading and any relative Section and Chapter Notes. Similarly, General Interpretative Rule 6 (GIR 6) directs that classification shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related Subheading Notes.

As a result, the Pantone Plastics Selector Chips are classified as "other printed matter, trade advertising material, commercial catalogues and the like" under 4911.10.00.39, in accordance with GIR 1 and 6.

Legislative/Administrative References

This ruling has been issued under paragraph 43.1(1)(c) of the Customs Act and will be honoured by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for future importations of the goods specified, provided the material facts and circumstances remain as originally presented; all conditions in the ruling have been met; the ruling has not been modified, revoked, revised, or cancelled; and the Customs Tariff legislation has not changed. Should there be a change in the material facts or circumstances pertaining to the goods, you must notify the CBSA as soon as possible. You may request that the advance ruling be modified or revoked as of the date of the change.

Importers should quote the advance ruling number at the time of importation in either the description field of the B3 entry document or on the Canada Customs Invoice. Exporters or producers should quote the advance ruling number on the Certificate of Origin or commercial invoice accompanying the goods.

Should you disagree with this advance ruling, you may file a dispute notice under subsection 60(2) of the Customs Act within 90 days of the date of issuance. Please see the procedures outlined in Appendix C of the CBSA's Memorandum D11-11-3, Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification.

This advance ruling is considered 'reason to believe' for the purposes of section 32.2 of the Customs Act and the CBSA's Administrative Monetary Penalty System, described in Memorandum D22-1-1.

All Memoranda referenced in this letter may be accessed on the CBSA website.

Consent to the Public Release of the Advance Ruling

As per your consent statement, we will release this advance ruling to the public, in both official languages, in accordance with the procedures described in Memorandum D11-11-3. The ruling will be published on the CBSA website in 30 days.

CBSA Contact

Mark Grant
Manager, Tariff Policy Unit 'B'
Trade Policy Division
Headquarters, Ottawa

File Number


Date modified: