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HQ 951128

October 20, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 951128 HP


TARIFF NO.: 4804.39.6040

Mr. Michael D'Ambrosio
District Director
U.S. Customs Service
P.O. Box 1490
St. Albans, VT 05478

RE: Application for Further Review of Protest No. 0201-91- 100466. Kraft paper which is also bibulous must be classified under the heading for kraft, not other, paper.

Dear Mr. D'Ambrosio:

This is in reply to your letter of December 2, 1991, forwarding Protest #0201 91 100466, which is the subject of an Application for Further Review. Please note your reference number PRO-1-0.


The merchandise at issue is described by protestant's counsel, Sullivan & Lynch, P.C., as follows:

The imported merchandise is known in the trade as decor paper. Decor paper is specialty, made to order paper which is used as the surface sheet in laminates for application in the construction or furniture industries. [Importer's] satinated base paper (decor paper) consists of 60-65% pulp fiber with the balance filler (primarily titanium dioxide). The consignee of the imported merchandise ... uses [the] satinated base paper as a surface sheet for the introduction of melamine resin to manufacture laminated furniture components. The end product has a surface finish similar to

Customs Laboratory Report No. 2-91-30257-001 described the sample as:
two sheets of uncoated Kraft paper, weighing 113.9 grams per square meter with an ash of 46.1% (essentially titanium), and a thickness of 0.125 millimeter, ... composed of chemical bleached Kraft fibers.

Protestant attempted entry of this merchandise under subheading 4805.60.3000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), as other uncoated paper, bibulous. Customs disagreed, appraising the paper under subheading 4804.39.6040, HTSUSA, as other uncoated Kraft paper.


Whether the instant paper is considered Kraft paper under the HTSUSA? If so, under which heading of the HTSUSA is the paper properly classified?


Kraft or Other Paper

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. Note 5 to Chapter 48, HTSUSA, states:

In this chapter, "kraft paper and paperboard" means paper and paperboard of which not less than 80 percent by weight of the total fiber content consists of fibers obtained by the chemical sulfate or soda processes.

As we stated above, the Customs Laboratory stated that the paper was "composed of chemical bleached Kraft fibers." In addition, counsel states, at 3, that
for the purposes of this Protest, it is accepted that the subject paper consists of fibers obtained by the chemical sulfate or soda process and that those fibers are in excess of 80% by weight of the total fiber content of the paper. By total weight, the paper is 60-65% fiber and the balance titanium dioxide and other fillers.

The paper at issue is therefore considered "kraft paper" under the HTSUSA.

Classification of the Kraft Paper

Heading 4804, HTSUSA, provides for uncoated kraft paper and paperboard, in rolls or sheets. Heading 4805, HTSUSA, provides for other uncoated paper or paperboard, in rolls or sheets. Counsel argues that, notwithstanding the fact that the instant merchandise is considered kraft paper under the tariff schedule, it should be classified as other uncoated paper, bibulous, under subheading 4805.60.30, HTSUSA. Counsel principally relies on the language of Note 6 to Chapter 48, HTSUSA; specifically, "paper ... answering to a description in two or more of the headings 4801 to 4811 [is] to be classified" in the heading occurring last in numerical order.

Counsel's reliance, however, is misplaced. For classification under Note 6 to take effect, the merchandise must meet the descriptions in two or more headings, not subheadings. Even assuming, arguendo, that the instant merchandise is considered by the trade as "bibulous," and that it was so classified under the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), it is clear from the language of headings 4804 and 4805 that the drafters of the current tariff intended the latter heading to encompass paper other than kraft. See Explanatory Note to heading 4805, HTSUSA (stating that the heading covers uncoated paper "other than those included in headings 48.01 to 48.04"). Emphasis in original. While classification decisions under the TSUS may at times be deemed instructive, language in the HTSUSA must take precedence. The merchandise is therefore correctly classifiable as other uncoated paper or paperboard.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 4804.39.6040, HTSUSA, as uncoated kraft paper and paperboard, in rolls or sheets, other than those of heading 4802 or 4803, other kraft paper and paperboard weighing 150 g/m squared or less, other, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 4 percent ad valorem. You are instructed to Deny the Protest in Full. A copy of this document should be attached to the Form 19 Notice of Action.


John Durant, Director

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