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HQ 950693

April 7, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950693 HP


TARIFF NO.: 4104.31.8000

Ms. Mamie E. Pollock
District Director
U.S. Customs Service
P.O. Box 2112
San Juan, PR 00903

RE: Application for Further Review of Protest 4909110097; bovine leather; fancy

Dear Ms. Pollock:

This is in reply to your memorandum of November 1, 1991, forwarding and Application for Further Review of Protest 4909110097. Please reference your File PRO-2-05-DD:CO CT-454.


The importer manufactures handbags and similar articles in the United States. Leather is imported from Norway to make the straps and trim for the handbags. Three types of leather utilized for this purpose are referred to as (1) Savoy Sierra, (2) RS Aniline Sierra, and (3) RS Pigment Sierra. These leather types are bovine, fully finished, and grain split. The leather undergoes various processes before importation. Protestant is of the opinion that the leather qualifies as "fancy," while Customs disagrees.


Whether the instant leather is considered "fancy" under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated


Subheading 4104.31, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, tanned bovine grain split leather prepared after tanning. Within this subheading, distinction is made between leather that is fancy and not fancy.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part, that such "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 GRIs, taken in order. Additional U.S. Note 1 to Chapter 41, HTSUSA, defines "fancy" as:

... leather which has been embossed, printed or otherwise decorated in any manner or to any extent (including leather on which the original grain has been accentuated by any process, but excluding leather of heading 4109 [(patent leather)]).

This merchandise was the subject of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 868590 of November 19, 1991. Therein, we classified the leather as fancy, describing the leather's processing steps as:

1.Bovine hides are processed for hair and flesh removal and are subjected to other processes preparatory for tanning.

2.The hides are placed in a rotary drum containing a tanning solution and are thereby tanned.

3.The hides are split to appropriate thickness, only the grain split being used for the instant leather.

4.The tanned hides are retanned, fat liquered and colored in a rotary drum.

5.The leather is vacuum plated/dried.

6.The leather is subjected to successive spray applications of pigment/aniline coloring, wax and lacquer.

7.The leather is smooth plated.

The processes taking place in step 6, supra, clearly meet the broad "otherwise decorated" requirement in Additional U.S. Note 1. We therefore agree with the holding in NYRL 868590.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 4104.31.8000, HTSUSA, as leather of bovine or equine animals, without hair on, other than leather of heading 4108 or 4109, other bovine or equine leather, parchment- dressed or prepared after tanning, full grains and grain splits, other, other, fancy. The applicable rate of duty is 2.4 percent ad valorem.

You are instructed to allow the Protest in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Form 19 Notice of Action.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division?

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