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HQ 554868

April 10, 1989

CLA-2-CO:R:C 554868 RA


TARIFF NO: 9811.00.60, HTSUS (860.30, TSUS)

District Director of Customs
U.S. Customs Service
111 West Huron Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

RE: Classification of carpet samples used to solicit foreign orders

Dear Sir:

This ruling is in response to your memorandum of September 21, 1987, requesting internal advice for a Customs broker on behalf of a Canadian carpet manufacturer as to whether certain pieces of floor covering may be accorded free entry as samples for taking orders of foreign merchandise (IA No. 67/87).


There was submitted for consideration two rectangular pieces of carpeting material measuring 13 by 18 inches and 26 by 18 inches which it is claimed should be admitted free of duty as samples to be used for soliciting orders of foreign products. The edges of the material have been hemmed by machine and the cloth is composed of olefin pile inserted into a base of woven strips, with a jute mesh backing. A 1/4-inch in diameter hole has been made in the smaller piece so a chain can be inserted and a number of pieces can be fastened together. A textile label has been affixed to the back of each piece which specifies its characteristics and the maker's name.


Do the pieces of carpet meet the requirements of subheading 9811.00.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which has replaced item 860.30, Tariff Schedules of the United States, and which provides for the free entry of articles which have been treated to render them unsuitable for use other than as samples for soliciting orders for foreign merchandise? Does the treatment applied also comply with the guidelines prescribed in our telex 001706 of February 11, 1987?


The smaller piece of carpeting which measures only 18 by 13 inches in size is probably too small to be suitable for use as floorcovering. The larger piece, measuring 26 by 18 inches, is suitable for use as floorcovering such as a runner or door mat. In order for the pieces of carpet to be eligible for free entry under subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS, they must be treated to render them commercially unsuitable for any use other than as samples for taking orders for foreign-made carpeting and the treatment should conform to the guidelines set forth in the telex dated February 11, 1987, copy enclosed. These guidelines require that either a hole or section must be cut from the main body of the article or an indelible ink stamping shall be made on the outer surface of the article in a location which is visible when it is in use and the stamping should be in a contrasting color. The cutting or stamping prescribed should be near the center of the sample so it cannot be removed by cutting along an edge. The samples submitted do not conform to the guidelines with respect to either cutting or stamping.


Pieces of carpet do not qualify for free entry under the provision in subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS, for samples to be used for soliciting orders for foreign products unless imported for such use and treated to make them unsuitable for other use in conformity with the guidelines set forth in the telex of February 11, 1987.


John Durant, Director

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