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HQ 084635

September 3, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084635 DSN


TARIFF NO.: 3925.30.1000

Salvatore E. Caramagno, Esquire
Ross & Hardies
888 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006-4103

RE: Reconsideration of NYRL 832074 of November 28, 1988

Dear Mr. Caramagno:

This ruling letter is in response to your inquiry of May 12, 1989, on behalf of Frontenac Industries, Inc., for reconsideration of NYRL 832074 of November 28, 1988, regarding classification and the applicablility of subheading 9802.00.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for certain vertical blinds to be imported from Canada. A sample and photographs were submitted for examination.


The blinds at issue are described as room darkening blinds. They contain a horizontal aluminum housing which is designed for mounting on a ceiling or wall. The housing supports a number of vertical plastic opaque slats. There are two pull cords. One pull cord allows the slats to be rotated 180 degrees so that light can be let in or kept out of the room. The other pull cord allows the slats to be positioned uniformly across the length of the housing or pulled to either end of the housing.

The slats are approximately 3-3/4 inches wide. The slats are composed of a rigid plastic vane and a piece of acrylic fabric. The fabric is connected to the vane by spraying a small amount of glue to the top of each grooved vane, then sliding the fabric piece between the lips of the grooves. The fabric and plastic vane are stapled together with a plastic rivet.

NYRL 832074 of November 28, 1988 classified the blinds under subheading 6303.99.0010, HTSUSA. You assert that the blinds should be classified under subheading 3925.30.10, HTSUSA.



Whether the blinds at issue are classifed under subheading 6303.99.0010, HTSUSA, or under subheading 3925.30.10, HTSUSA.


Whether the merchandise at issue when returned to the U.S., is eligible for the partial duty exemption in subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUSA.



Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. When an article consists of more than one component as in this case, GRI 3 is applicable.

GRI 3(a) provides that the heading that is most specific shall be preferred. However, when two or more headings refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in composite goods, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods. Heading 3925, HTSUSA, provides for builders' wares of plastics, not elsewhere specified or included. Heading 6303, HTSUSA, provides for curtains and interior blinds, curtain or bed valances.

The chapter notes to chapter 63, HTSUSA, provide that subchapter 1 applies only to made up articles, of any textile fabric. Since the blinds at issue are composed of plastic and textile, we cannot determine by relative specificity that heading 6303 is more specific. Therefore, we proceed to GRI 3(b).

GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods consisting of different components, are classified by the component which gives them their essential character. The Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explantory Notes to GRI 3(b), state that essential character may be determined by the nature of the component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

According to your submissions the plastic portion constitutes 65 percent of the weight of the blinds and 58 percent of the total cost of the blinds. The role of the plastic in relation to the use of the goods is to block natural light by virtue of the plastic opaque slats. The function of the textile portion is that it provides a textured appearance to the plastic, but does not contribute to the darkening of the room. Therefore, we believe that the essential character of the blinds at issue is imparted by the plastic portion. NYRL 832074 is amended accordingly.


Subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUSA, applies to articles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, the product of the U.S., with no operations performed thereon except the attachment of the components to form the imported merchandise and operations incidental thereto. An article classified under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUSA, is subject to duty upon the full appraised value of the imported article, less the cost or value of such products of the U.S.

Section 10.16(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(a)), provides that assembly operations performed abroad may consist of any method used to join or fit together solid components, such as welding, gluing or the use of fasteners, and may be preceded, accompanied, or followed by operations incidental to the assembly.

Section 10.16(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(b)), provides that operations incidental to the assembly process whether performed before, during, or after assembly, do not constitute further fabrication, and shall not preclude the application of the exemption. Operations specified in this provision as incidental to the assembly process include cutting to length of wire, thread, tape foil and similar products exported in continuous length.

In the present case, the assembly operation involve cutting the fabric to length in Canada and then glueing and fastening to another component, the plastic vane. This operation is incidental to the assembly process.


The merchandise at issue is classified under subheading 3925.30.1000, HTSUSA, which provides for builders' ware of plastics, not elsewhere specified or included, shutters, blinds

(including venetian blinds) and similar articles and parts thereof, blinds. The rate of duty, if this merchandise is considered "goods originating in the territory of Canada", is 3 percent ad valorem under the Special duty rate column. Otherwise, the merchandise is dutiable at the rate of 3.36 percent ad valorem.

NYRL 832074 of November 28, 1988 is modified in accordance with this ruling.

Allowances in duty may be made under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUSA, for the cost or value of the U.S. made fabric upon return of the vertical blinds, provided the documentation requirements of section 10.24, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.24) are satisfied.


John Durant, Director

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