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HQ 956238

October 31, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956238 BC


TARIFF NO.: 4823.60.0040

Dale G. Vander Yacht
Border Brokerage Company
P.O. Box B
Blaine, WA 98230

RE: Revocation of NYRL 867163; classification of beverage coasters made of paperboard, not of paper

Dear Mr. Vander Yacht:

Recently, it has come to our attention that New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 867163, issued to you on September 30, 1991, on behalf of Pacific Paper Products, Ltd., was issued in error. The ruling classified beverage coasters. As explained below, the ruling should be revoked.


The merchandise at issue was described in NYRL 867163 as "conventional rectangular or oval paper or paperboard coasters, each printed with an advertisement of a particular brand of beer. The coasters are used to protect the surface of a table or bar from spill . . . from a glass containing beer or other beverage. They vary slightly in size . . . within the [following] dimensions: 4 1/4 inches x 4 inches." The ruling classified them in subheading 4818.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which the ruling stated to provide for: "Other (than certain enumerated) sanitary articles of paper or paperboard."

Now, we understand the subject coasters to be made of paperboard, not paper. Given this fact, the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, reviewed NYRL 867163 and determined that it was issued in error, since subheading 4818.90.0000, HTSUSA, provides for such articles made of paper, not of paperboard. The Area Director recommended that the ruling be reconsidered, suggesting classification in subheading 4823.60.0040, HTSUSA, which provides for other articles of paper or paperboard: trays, dishes, plates, cups, and the like, of paper or paperboard.

Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993) (hereafter, section 625), notice of the proposed revocation of NYRL 867163 was published on September 21, 1993, in the Customs Bulletin, Vol. 28, Number 38. No comments were received.


What is the proper classification for the paperboard beverage coasters at issue?


The dictionary defines "coaster" as follows: "4. A disk placed under a bottle, pitcher, or drinking glass to protect the surface below." (See Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary, p.275 (1984).) It is common knowledge that coasters are not made of paper, since paper does not provide the absorbability of paperboard or cork, two common materials used for coasters. We understand the coasters at issue to be made of paperboard, not of paper. Thus, use of the term "paper or paperboard" in NYRL 867163 is inaccurate.

As above, subheading 4818.90.0000, HTSUSA, provides for articles made of paper. Since the coasters at issue are not made of paper, they are not classifiable in that subheading. We believe that the coasters are classifiable in subheading 4823.60.0040, HTSUSA, which, as stated, provides for other articles of paperboard, trays, dishes, plates, cups, and the like. Since coasters are used within the realm of articles employed in the service of food and beverages, we believe they are like the articles mentioned in the subheading.


The paperboard beverage coasters at issue are classifiable in subheading 4823.60.0040, HTSUSA. Accordingly, NYRL 867163, issued on September 30, 1991, is hereby revoked.

In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days from its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR


John Durant, Director

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