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HQ 957000

December 19, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 957000 ch


TARIFF NO.: 4107.29.6000

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
9400 Viscount Boulevard
El Paso, Texas 79925

RE: Application for further review of Protest No. 2402-94-100028 under 19 U.S.C., section 1514(c)(2); tariff classification of lizard skins from Argentina; fancy; Chapter 41, Additional U.S. Note 1.

Dear District Director:

This is a decision on application for further review of a protest timely filed by Robert G. Gilbert, Mayfield and Perrenot, P.C., on behalf of Reptile Skins, Inc. We have considered the protest and our decision follows.


The instant goods are twelve entries of lizard skins from Argentina. The lizard skins were entered under subheading 4107.29.3000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for leather of other animals, without hair on, other than leather of heading 4108 or 4109: of reptiles: not fancy. However, they were classified in subheading 4107.29.6000, HTSUS, which provides for such leather regarded as fancy.


What is the proper tariff classification for the lizard skins?


Chapter 41, Additional U.S. Note 1, HTSUS, states:

The term "fancy" as applied to leather, means 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). (Emphasis added).

Samples of the lizard skins were examined by the Customs Laboratory in New Orleans. In Report Number 5-93-20329-001, the laboratory concluded that the merchandise is considered fancy by tariff definition. The determination was based on an examination by stereo microscope of a sample from entry number 32800700646. The test revealed that the sample possessed a coating accentuating the grain of the surface. Consequently, the laboratory found that the reptile leather had been "otherwise decorated" as specified in the legal note.

Protestant directs our attention to Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950693, dated April 7, 1992. In that decision, certain bovine leather was "subjected to successive spray applications of pigment/aniline coloring, wax and lacquer." On this basis, we concluded that the leather was "otherwise decorated" in accordance with Chapter 41, Additional U.S. Note 1. Accordingly, the goods were classified as fancy.

Protestant observes that the instant leather has not been subjected to "successive spray operations." Moreover, protestant argues that the spraying applications alluded to in HRL 950693 constitute a "finishing" operation. It is asserted that the subject merchandise has not been similarly "finished." In light of these distinctions, protestant concludes that the instant reptile leather cannot be regarded as fancy.

However, efforts to distinguish the instant merchandise from that at issue in HRL 950693 are misplaced. Leather classified as fancy need not undergo processing operations similar to those performed in HRL 950693. Chapter 41, Additional U.S. Note 1, specifies that "any process" which accentuates the original grain of leather shall be regarded as fancy. As protestant does not contest the determination that the reptile leather has been coated to accentuate the grain of the surface, the protest is hereby denied.


Therefore, based on the foregoing discussion, this protest should be denied in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the CF 19 Notice of Action to satisfy the notice requirement of section 174.30(a), Customs Regulations.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision should be mailed by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John A. Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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