United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1995 NY Rulings > NY 806215 - NY 806349 > NY 806292

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY 806292

February 7, 1995

CLA-2-48:S:N:N8:234 806292


TARIFF NO.: 4820.10.2010

Mr. John M. McKeown
P.O. Box 909
Laredo, Texas 78042-0909

RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of "Mead Five Star First Gear Ensemble Binder" from Mexico; Article 509.

Dear Mr. McKeown:

In your letter dated January 23, 1995, to the Office of Regulations and Rulings at Washington, D.C., on behalf of your client, Mead School and Office Products Corporation, you requested a ruling on the status of an article designated "Mead Five Star First Gear Ensemble Binder" from Mexico under the NAFTA.

The article is a three ring looseleaf book which binds printed paper sections, the first of which is entitled "Monthly Planner", consisting of 12 sheets in a monthly calendar format, 11 x 8 1/2 inches. This section is also spiral bound between paperboard covers, so that should it be removed from the looseleaf binding it would retain its identity as a bound book/planner.

A second section is a cellophone-wrapped set of white paper, of 100 sheets, with blue lines and a red left-hand margin line. These pages are not bound except by the looseleaf mechanism.

There is a third section which consists of amber-colored divider sheets of paperboard, each with a plastic slot affixed to the outside edge to accomodate paper inserts, which will be used to identify the section of the book that will be placed in front of or behind the divider card. A strip of such blank paper inserts accompanies the divider cards; the strip is bound by one of the three rings of the book.

The book does not have a permanent front cover; it has a permanent back cover of heavy durable paperboard. The book is mounted into a sewn nylon case by slipping the back permanent cover into a slot at the right side of the nylon case. The case also has a smaller slot at the left side, which can accomodate a slip-in stationery article of not more than 4 inches in width. The sample is presented for consideration with this smaller slot not occupied.

The sewn nylon case has a velcro (tm) closure strip, but is not itself closed otherwise. It functions as the outer cover of the article.

You advise that the nylon case (which you refer to as "cover") and the ring binder are products of China, and the spiral bound monthly planner and other paper products are of U.S.A. origin. The processing in Mexico consists, therefore, essentially of placing the U.S. origin paper goods onto the Chinese ring binder (through holes which are presumed to have been punched in the U.S.), and slipping the Chinese ring binder's back permanent cover into a slot at the right side of the Chinese nylon case or cover.

The applicable tariff provision for the Mead Five Star First Gear Ensemble Binder will be, as you propose, 4820.10.2010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for: Diaries and address books, bound, of paper or paperboard. The general rate of duty will be 3.6 percent.

The merchandise does not qualify for preferential treatment under the NAFTA because one or more of the non-originating materials used in the production of the goods will not undergo the change in tariff classification required by General Note 12(t)/Chapter 48, HTSUSA.

In this connection, please note Section 102.17 (c), Customs Regulations, (19 C.F.R. 102.17 (c)), which reads in pertinent part:"A foreign material shall not be considered to have undergone the applicable change in tariff classification set out in Section 102.20, or satisfy the other applicable requirements of that Section by reason of simple packing, repacking or retail packaging without more than minor processing".

In our view, the placing of U.S. origin paper articles onto Chinese looseleaf rings is not "more than minor processing" of those rings. Similarly, the slipping of the Chinese looseleaf mechanism into a slot in the Chinese nylon cover is not "more than minor processing" of either the mechanism or the cover.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181).

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.

Should you wish to request an administrative review of this ruling, submit a copy of this ruling and all relevant facts and arguments within 30 days of the date of this letter, to the Director, Office of Regulations and Rulings, U.S. Customs Service, 1301 Constitution Ave., N.W., Franklin Court, Washington, D.C. 20229.


Jean F. Maguire

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: