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NY 855739

SEP 04 1990

CLA-2-48:S:N1:234 855739


TARIFF NO.: 4823.90.8500

Mr. Peter B. Scales
Cargo Care
2159 Monterey Avenue
Coquitlam, B.C., Canada V3K 2M5

RE: The tariff classification of "Absorba-Mats" from Canada.

Dear Mr. Scales:

In your letter dated August 8, 1990, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Two samples, designated "Absorba-Mat" and "Mini Absorba- Mat," were submitted along with descriptive literature and will be retained for reference. You state that both products "are essentially superabsorbent paper enveloped within two layers of polyethylene plastic."

The literature describes the "Absorba-Mat" as an "industrial strength diaper" featuring a heavy gauge polyethylene bag perforated on the top surface to allow moisture to flow through and be captured by a specially formulated superabsorbent. It is designed to be used in cargo holds of narrow-bodied aircraft or as a floor sheet in wide-body cargo containers, thus serving to reduce corrosion and the clean-up/maintenance costs associated with spills of liquids. It is available in tear-off rolls, in various sizes and absorbency levels.

The "Mini Absorba-Mat" is a smaller version of the product, designed for use as an absorbent pad in fish boxes, i.e. containers in which fresh seafood is packed with wet ice.

You state that the superabsorbent paper accounts for 74% of the raw material costs, while the plastic accounts for 22%. You also provide figures indicating that, per square foot, the paper is worth $U.S. 0.048, while the superabsorbent chemical (poly sodium acrylate) with which it is combined is worth $U.S. 0.03.

The applicable subheading for the "Absorba-Mat" and "Mini Absorba-Mat" will be 4823.90.8500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other (than certain enumerated) articles of paper. The rate of duty will be 5.3%.

Goods classifiable under subheading 4823.90.8500, HTS, which have originated in the territory of Canada, will be entitled to a 3.1 percent rate of duty under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) upon compliance with all applicable regulations.

Noting that your firm produces "Absorba-Mats" using paper originating in the United States, you also ask whether that circumstance might allow for some sort of "duty rebate." We are unsure of which type of allowance you have in mind, but if, for example, you are referring to the tariff provision for articles assembled abroad from U.S. components, a determination as to eligibility might best be reached through a dialogue with the local official at the port of entry. Such a determination would likely require additional information, including the extent of the cutting your firm does (both to length and width?), whether gluing is involved with both products, and when, where and how the chemical (said to originate in Japan) is added to the paper.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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