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HQ 086586

June 18, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086586 RFC


TARIFF NO.: 4803.00.4000

Ms. Milica R. Rodriquez c/o Pamela L. Sentz
647 West Virginia Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204

RE: Air-laid paper used in the manufacture of paper napkins

Dear Ms. Rodriquez:

This ruling letter is in response to your request of February 21, 1990, on behalf of Duni Corporation, concerning the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for air-laid paper used in the manufacture of paper napkins. The paper is imported from Canada and a sample was submitted for examination.


The submitted sample consists of a sheet of embossed, white, air-laid paper which is described as being composed of a latex-bonded, wood-pulp cellulose. The paper is imported in rolls exceeding 36 cm in width for use in the manufacture of paper napkins.


Whether air-laid paper for use in the manufacture of paper napkins is "impregnated paper" within the meaning of note 2 to chapter 48 of the HTSUSA.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 states, in part, that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...."

Subheading 4803.00.4000, HTSUSA, provides for toilet or facial tissue stock, towel or napkin stock, in rolls of a width
exceeding 36 cm, other. Following GRI 1, the above-described goods would appear to fit squarely within this subheading of the HTSUSA. Chapter note 2 to chapter 48, however, states, in part, that "...heading No. 4803...[does] not apply to paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibers which have been otherwise processed, for example, by coating or impregnation."

In turn, however, the Explanatory Notes to chapter 48 on "impregnated paper and paperboard" state:

Most of these papers and paperboards are obtained by treatment with oils, waxes, plastics, etc., in such a manner as to permeate them and give them special qualities (e.g., to render them waterproof, greaseproof, and sometimes translucent or transparent). They are used largely for protective wrapping or as insulating materials.

Impregnated papers and paperboards include, oiled wrapping paper, oiled or waxed manifold paper, stencil paper, indicator papers such as litmus or pole-finding papers, insulating paper and paperboard impregnated, e.g., with plastics, rubberised paper, paper and paperboard merely impregnated with tar or bitumen.

In the instant case, the air-laid paper contains a latex bonding agent, which acts to bind the wood-pulp cellulose of the paper. Therefore, the latex bonding agent with which the instant paper is "impregnated" is used for purposes of binding the paper and not to give the paper "special qualities," as discussed above in the Explanatory Notes to chapter 48. Accordingly, the instant paper is not "impregnated paper" for purposes of and as contemplated by chapter note 2 to chapter 48 and should not be classified as such under the HTSUSA.


The above-described goods are classified under subheading 4803.00.4000, HTSUSA, which provides for toilet or facial tissue stock, towel or napkin stock, other. The goods are duty free.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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