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NY 867495

October 17, 1991

CLA-2-49:S:N1:234 867495


TARIFF NO.: 4908.90.0000

Mr. John T. Irvine
Perkins-Goodwin Co.
One Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10020

RE: The tariff classification of printed transfers from Germany.

Dear Mr. Irvine:

In your letter dated September 27, 1991, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise in question is bleached, U.S. origin kraft paper which will be returned to this country after being design- printed in Germany. You state that in Germany, custom designs for the garment and upholstery industries will be printed onto the paper with sublimation dyes that are suspended in varnish. After being rewound onto smaller rolls, the printed paper will be shipped to converters in the United States, who will apply it, under heat and pressure, to synthetic fabric. This procedure will result in a "sublimation transfer" of the color image to the fabric. (The paper, which loses only some of its dyes during the transfer, can then be discarded, sold to "seconds houses" for additional, lower quality transfers, or sold as inexpensive gift wrap.)

You note that you have obtained an advisory opinion that subheading 4809.20.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), might be the appropriate classification for the above-described merchandise. That subheading provides for certain self-copy paper of a kind used to make one or more copies of an original document. However, we find all provisions in heading 4809 to be inapplicable because they generally encompass papers designed to receive and reproduce images from an external source, as opposed to papers already printed with such images.

We also considered subheading 9802.00.50, HTS, which provides for a duty only upon the value of foreign repairs or alterations done on articles exported for such advancement and subsequently returned to the United States. This provision, too, is inapplicable, since prior Customs decisions have precluded it when the foreign operations destroy the identity of the article, create new or commercially different articles, or constitute part of a manufacturing process begun in the U.S.

Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the printed transfers will be 4908.90.0000, HTS, which provides for transfers (decalcomanias), other than vitrifiable. The rate of duty will be 15.4 cents per kilogram.

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

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