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HQ 084716

September 14, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084716 HP


TARIFF NO.: 4811.39.4040; 4823.90.8500

Ms. Loretta J. Evans
Customer Service
Arthur Fritz & Co.
P.O. Drawer `G'
Blaine, Washington 98230

RE: Classification of coated, reinforced paper for wrapping lumber

Dear Ms. Evans:

In a letter dated April 19, 1989 (NYRL 838558), the Area Director, New York Seaport, issued you a ruling letter with respect to tariff classification of Lumberwrap, description below. Reference your client Twinpak Inc. In the ruling letter, the Lumberwrap (Type II) was classified under the provisions for plastic sheets of film combined with textile materials, sub- heading 3921.90.1500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), since the plastics constituted more than half the thickness of the merchandise. Classification of Lumberwrap Type I was not made for lack of sufficient infor- mation.

In your letter of May 16, 1989 to our New York Office, you petitioned for reconsideration of the New York Ruling, due to a mistake in fact. You now submit information, which we have no reason to question, that the paper component of Lumberwrap Types I and II accounts for 52.4 percent of their total thickness. You contend, as a consequence, that the products should be classified as articles of paper.


The Merchandise at Issue

The instant merchandise consists of two types of textile- reinforced paper, manufactured expressly for packaging kiln dried lumber ("Lumberwrap"). Type I is a three component sheet, comprised of a reinforcing polyolefin tape scrim, 5 x 4 per inch2, laminated to a base sheet of 65 g/m2 Kraft paper with 48 g/m2 low density white polyethylene. The process is done by the extrusion method (infra). The specifications for Type I are as follows:


PAPER 65 47.3 4.3 52.4 g/m2 mils

POLY- 34.9 2.0 24.4 48
ETH. g/m2 mils

5x4 24.5 17.8 1.9 23.2
SCRIM g/m2 mils

137.5- 100.0 8.2 100.0 g/m2 mils

Type II is a four component sheet, comprised of a reinforc- ing polyolefin tape scrim, 5 x 4 per inch2, laminated with 24 g/m2 low density white polyethylene to a base sheet of 65 g/m2 Kraft paper coated with 24 g/m2 low density white polyethylene. The process is also done by the extrusion method. The specifications for Type II are as follows:


PAPER 65 47.3 4.3 52.4 g/m2 mils

PRE- 24 17.5 1.0 12.2
COAT g/m2 mils

5x4 24.5 17.7 1.9 23.2
SCRIM g/m2 mils

TOP- 24 17.5 1.0 12.2
COAT g/m2 mils

137.5- 100.0 8.2 100.0 g/m2 mils

Both types are manufactured in widths of 48 inches to 115 inches (122 cm to 190 cm), in rolls of 1000 feet to 3500 feet (300 m to 925 m) long. Lumberwrap may be printed upon.

The Extrusion Process

Extrusion laminating spreads the molecular polymer between two moving substrates [sic.] in a nip of a rubber and a chill roll. In a continuous operation, rolls of material are unwound, spliced on the fly, and prepared by chemical priming or other surface treatment to make the substrate receptive to the polymer coating, and develop adhesion between the materials.

Industrial wraps. The coated product is also used as a wrapper or part of a protective structure. This classification covers the range of heavy or reinforced papers, films, or boards where the coated material may be added to other media. Examples are composite cans, drum carton and freight car liners, release or oilproof [sic.] papers, and bale, lumber, steel, and sheet over- wraps. [Emphasis added].

S.M. Weiss, Extrusion coating and laminating, MODERN PLASTICS ENCYCLOPEDIA 1986-1987.


Whether reinforcing textile fabric coats or covers paper for classification purposes under the HTSUSA?


Subheading 4807.99.2000, HTSUSA, provides for composite paper, cloth-lined or reinforced, not surface coated or impregnated. The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level.

The Explanatory Note to heading 4807 defines "composite paper and paperboard" as "made by sticking two or more layers of paper or paperboard together with the aid of an adhesive [emphasis added]." As the merchandise at issue is comprised of only one layer of paper, it is excluded from consideration under heading 4807, HTSUSA.

Heading 4811, HTSUSA, provides for coated or impregnated paper. The General Explanatory Notes to Chapter 48, states that coatings composed of organic materials, such as plastics and textile dust, "may not require a binding agent for their application." As the instant merchandise requires a binder, polyethylene, to apply the textile scrim to the paper, the merchandise cannot be considered "coated" with the polyolefin tape.

Type I Lumberwrap

Type I Lumberwrap cannot be considered "coated" with plas- tics, as the plastics fail to coat either surface of the finished product. The polyethylene is added merely as a binder between the scrim and the paper. We must now decide whether Type I is a textile or a paper.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:

... classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes ....

Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

Note 1(m) to Section XI, HTSUSA, states that this section does not cover "[p]roducts or articles of chapter 48...." Neither Chapter 48, nor Section X, HTSUSA, contains a similar provision excluding products or articles of Section XI. Therefore, as the instant merchandise is a product of Chapter 48, the merchandise must be excluded from Section XI, and remains classifiable in Chapter 48, HTSUSA.

While Type I satisfies the technical requirements for kraftliner in heading 4804, the Explanatory Note to this heading excludes paper or paperboard "otherwise processed." As reinforc- ing is not among the enumerated allowed processes, classification as kraftliner is impossible. Since reinforced kraft paper is not otherwise provided for in Chapter 48, HTSUSA, Type I must be considered "other paper" of heading 4823.

Type II Lumberwrap

The description of Type II Lumberwrap falls within the definition of coated paper for purposes of Chapter 48, HTSUSA. While the pre-coat of polyethylene would be considered merely a binder (see above for reasoning behind binder versus coating decision), the top coat of plastics, comprising less than 50 percent the total width of the product, is considered a coating. Ergo, Type II is classifiable under heading 4811, HTSUSA.


As a result of the foregoing, the merchandise at issue is classifiable as follows: TYPE I LUMBERWRAP -- subheading 4823.90.8500, HTSUSA, as other paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibers, cut to size or shape; other articles of paper pulp, paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibers, other, other, other, other, other. Articles which meet the definition of "goods originating in the territory of Canada" (see General Note 3(c)(ii)(B), HTSUSA) are subject to reduced rates of duty under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act of 1988. If the merchandise constitutes "goods originating in the territory of Canada," the applicable rate of duty is 4.2 percent ad valorem; otherwise, the general rate of 5.3 percent ad valorem applies.

TYPE II LUMBERWRAP -- subheading 4811.39.4040, HTSUSA, as paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibers, coated, impregnated, covered, surface-colored, surface decorated or printed, in rolls or sheets, other than goods of heading 4803, 4809, 4810 or 4818, paper and paperboard, coated, impregnated or covered with plastics (excluding adhesives), other, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is Free.

Pursuant to section 177.9, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9), the ruling letter of April 19, 1989, is modified in conformity with the foregoing.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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