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NY 812964

August 2, 1995

CLA-2-91:S:N:N6:344 812964


Ms. Patricia Haleman
SMH (US) Inc.
1817 William Penn Way
Lancaster, PA 17604
RE: The tariff classification of watches from various countries.

Dear Ms. Haleman:

In your letter dated July 19, 1995, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted two samples. One is a watch case without a movement and one is a watch case with a movement.

You have raised a question regarding gold-plating of your watch cases and crystals. You have described a specific process, PVD (physical vapor deposition) finish, and would like to know if this process constitutes gold-plating. The process is performed in a vacuum using different methods of physicochemical activation such as ion bombardment, sputtering, evaporation-condensation, etc.

This process makes it possible to deposit very thin layers (1 to 3 um) of impurity-free components which frequently possess a high level of hardness. This process may at times use a small amount of gold and leave gold tone deposits on either the entire case or very small areas of the case or crystal.

In order to properly classify your watches, you have asked:

1. Does the PVD process qualify as plating or should the watches be classified as "other?"

2. When the gold-tone PVD process is used only on the crystal, is the case classified as plated or should they be classified as other?

It is our opinion that if the PVD process contains gold and it is used on the bezel or back of the case, the watch would be classified under the provision for gold-plating. If no gold is contained in the PVD process, then the watch would be classified under the provision for other. If the PVD process is used on the crystal, whether or not containing gold, the case would not be considered gold-plated.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

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.


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