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HQ 555378

March 19, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:V 555378 GRV


TARIFF NO.: 9801.00.10

District Director of Customs
Nogales, Arizona 85621

RE: Internal Advice Request No. 63/87; applicability of duty- free treatment under HTSUS subheading 9801.00.10 to various parts of U.S.-origin packaged abroad with electric garage door openers and returned to the U.S.

Dear Sir:

This is in response to your letter of September 16, 1987, forwarding a request for internal advice initiated by the Chamberlain Group, Inc. ("importer"), regarding the applicability of subheading 9801.00.10, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) (formerly item 800.00, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS)), to certain parts or components packaged in Mexico with assembled electric garage door openers. The initial request dated March 23, 1987, was submitted on behalf of the importer by the firm of Baker & McKenzie. Subsequent submissions dated March 13, and December 19, 1989, were prepared by the firm of Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro. No samples of the subject merchandise were submitted for examination.


Certain U.S.-made and foreign parts are packaged in Mexico with foreign assembled garage door openers. The U.S. items include a clip and brackets, which are packed loose in the box containing the opener, and various hardware items--nuts, bolts, screws, a cotton pin, a small tube of grease, a length of nylon rope and a plastic handle of identifiable U.S. and non-U.S. origin--which are packaged in a plastic bag. (These parts are used by the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. to complete and install the garage door opener.) The plastic bag is heat-sealed and either taped or stapled to a portion of the garage door opener. These loose-packed parts and the parts packaged in the plastic bag are then imported with the foreign assembled garage door openers into the U.S.

Counsel states that allowances in duty have been granted for a substantial portion of the value of the entries of the electric garage door openers under HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80. However, your office declined to grant an exemption from duty under HTSUS subheading 9801.00.10 for those U.S. parts which were merely packaged abroad with the garage door openers and returned. In counsel's opinion, these U.S.-origin parts are entitled to such treatment, and in support of his contention, references numerous Customs ruling letters--731806 (November 18, 1988), 071705 (February 21, 1984), and 058632 (November 14, 1978)--and the recent decision in Superscope, Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. 89-167, Court No. 85-3-00328 (1989).

In the event we deny the claim to duty-free treatment under HTSUS subheading 9801.00.10, counsel alternatively requests that we consider whether the parts packed in the plastic bag are eligible for the partial duty exemption under HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80.


Whether the described U.S. items, which are merely packaged abroad with other parts of foreign origin and with foreign assembled garage door openers, are eligible for duty-free treat- ment under HTSUS subheading 9801.00.10 when returned to the U.S.


The imported articles affected by this internal advice request were entered both before and after the effective date of the HTSUS (January 1, 1989).

HTSUS subheading 9801.00.10 provides for the duty-free entry of products of the U.S. that are returned after having been exported, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad, provided there has been compliance with the documentary requirements of section 10.1, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.1).

In the recent decision of Superscope, Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. 89-167 (CIT 1989), the court held that certain glass panels of U.S. origin that were exported, repacked abroad with certain foreign components, and returned to the U.S. as part of unassembled audio cabinets, were entitled to duty-free entry under TSUS item 800.00, since the U.S. panel portion of the imported article was "not 'advanced in value or improved in condition ... while abroad,' but [was] merely repacked." Although the Superscope case concerned the TSUS, not the HTSUS, the decision is believed to be equally applicable to similar situations arising under the HTSUS, since TSUS item 800.00 and relevant Schedule 8, TSUS, headnotes were carried over virtually unchanged into the HTSUS.

We believe that the decision in Superscope is controlling in regard to the facts of the instant case. Various parts of U.S. origin are exported, merely repackaged with foreign items, and returned to the U.S. as part of electric garage door opener kits. Therefore, since these U.S. parts are not advanced in value or improved in condition while abroad, we find that they are entitled to duty-free entry under HTSUS subheading 9801.00.10. This presumes that the documentary requirements of 19 CFR 10.1 are met, and that your office is satisfied that those specific parts claimed to be American goods returned are, in fact, U.S. products.

In view of the foregoing, there is no need to consider counsel's alternative argument regarding the applicability of HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80 to the U.S. parts packaged in the plastic bag.


The specified U.S.-made parts that are merely repackaged abroad are entitled to duty-free treatment under HTSUS subheading 9801.00.10 (and TSUS item 800.00) when returned to the U.S., pro- vided the documentary requirements of 19 CFR 10.1 are satisfied.


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