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NY 806293

February 7, 1995

CLA-2-48:S:N:N8:234 806293


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 Student Day Planner" 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 Student Day Planner" from Mexico under the NAFTA.

The article is a six-ring looseleaf book, designed to hold pages which measure 7 1/2 x 5 7/8 inches. As presented, a sample article, which will be retained for reference, holds or contains pages comprising four sections: Calendar, Assignments, Notes and Telephone/Addressess, and also a six-inch/15 cm transparent plastic ruler.

The book is slipped into a pocket at the right side of the nylon cover. A pad of paper, printed with graph lines, which is hole-punched to fit onto the 6-ring binder mechanism if desired, is slipped into another slot at the right side of the cover.

The left inner side of the cover also has two slots, one of them closed with a slide-fastener (zipper), the other not closed. In the sample presented these two slots are unoccupied. The cover has a velcro (tm) closure, which is a textile strip 1 1/4" wide. The paper contents of the folder are visible along the edges of the cover when it is in a closed position.

You advise that the nylon cover and the ring binder are from China, the small plastic ruler is from Taiwan, and the paper products are U.S. 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 presmued 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 cover. The Taiwan plastic ruler may then be placed onto the Chinese ring binder, and the U.S. graph pad may be slipped into a slot in the Chinese nylon cover.

The applicable tariff provision for the "Mead Five Star First Gear Student Day Planner" will be, as you suggest, 4820.10.2010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for: Diaries and address books, 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 Sec. 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. 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. Finally, the slipping of the Taiwan ruler onto the Chinese looseleaf mechanism is not "more than minor processing" of the ruler or the mechanism.

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
Area Director

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