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HQ 544161

April 28, 1989

CLA-2-CO:R:C 544161 RA


TARIFF NO: 9802.00.80, HTSUS

S. Richard Shostak, Esq.
Stein Shostak Shostak & O'Hara
3580 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1240
Los Angeles, California 90010-2597

RE: Applicability of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, to certain assembled diskettes from Mexico

Dear Mr. Shostak:

This is in response to your letters of February 25, 1988, July 30, 1988, and April 4, 1989, on behalf of Permabyte Magnetics, requesting a ruling concerning the applicability of item 807.00, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS) (now subheading 9802.00.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)), to certain diskettes assembled in Mexico. You also request confirmation that these articles are classifiable in subheading 8523.20.00, HTSUS, and that they may properly be marked "Assembled in Mexico, Media made in Japan." We regret the delay in responding to your request.


Components made in the U.S. consisting of flat vinyl diskette jackets with certain cut or punched out circles, oval- shaped openings, and holes, plastic hub rings, and printed paper labels, are exported to Mexico for assembly with a magnetic floppy disc of Japanese origin. The assembly operations include folding and gluing the vinyl jackets to form a holder for the diskettes, burnishing the foreign-made floppy disc, stuffing the disc into the jacket, closing and sealing the jacket flap, affixing the hub ring to the disc, labeling by attaching a paper label, and packing the finished diskettes in a box and applying shrink wrap.


Whether the assembled domestic components of the imported diskettes qualify for tariff treatment under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS.


Subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, 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 classfied in this tariff provision 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 the assembly operations performed abroad may consist of any method used to join or fit together solid components such as force fitting, gluing, etc. In this case, the jacket is an integral part of the imported article and the folding and gluing performed on it are qualified incidental operations within the purview of the statute and section 10.16(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(a)). The permanent joining of the jacket with the disc and hub ring is considered to constitute an acceptable assembly operation in view of the decision in Mattel Inc. v. the United States, C.A.D. 1248, 67 CCPA 74 (1980). In that case the packaging of domestic phonograph records in envelopes was held to be a qualified assembly under item 807.00, TSUS.

As we stated in a letter to you dated July 25, 1988 (544092), the burnishing of the Japanese-made media or floppy disc would not affect the eligibility of the U.S. components for treatment under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, since the exemption provided for in this tariff provision applies only to U.S.-made fabricated components.

The imported diskettes are properly classifiable in subheading 8523.20.00, HTSUS, which provides for a duty rate of 4.2%.


On the basis of information and samples submitted, we agree that the steps taken in assembling the diskettes abroad constitute a qualified assembly or operations incidental thereto within the scope of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS. Accordingly, an allowance in duties may be accorded for the value of the

U.S.-made fabricated components, upon compliance with sections 10.11 through 10.24, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.11-10.24). The imported diskettes are classifiable in subheading 8523.20.00, HTSUS, and may be marked "Assembled in Mexico, Media made in Japan."


John Durant, Director

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