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NY 818389

March 15, 1996

CLA-2-48:RR:NC:GI:234 818389


TARIFF NO.: 4811.39.4040; 3921.90.4010

Mr. Ruben Sandoval
J.O. Alvarez, Inc.
P.O. Box 1434
Laredo, Texas 78042-1434

RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of printed paper laminated with plastics, for packaging, from Mexico; Article 509

Dear Mr. Sandoval:

In your letter dated January 3, 1996, on behalf of your client, Masterpak SA (Monterrey, N.L., Mexico), you requested a ruling on the status of certain printed, plastic-covered paper from Mexico under the NAFTA.

Two samples, both identified as "No. 7 Paper/Poly," were submitted and will be retained for reference. An analysis by the New York Customs Laboratory has determined that the two samples differ in physical characteristics, resulting in a different tariff classification for each one.

The first sample is a roll of plastic-coated paper, 15.12 cm wide, which has been continuously printed with designs, cartoon figures and distribution information for an unspecified product. (It is assumed that this paper is intended to be used in some type of packaging application.) The lab finds that the total thickness of the sample strip is 0.065 mm, the layer of paper being 0.040 mm, and its plastic coating 0.025 mm. Its overall weight is 63.6 grams per square meter.

The applicable subheading for the "No. 7 Paper/Poly," imported in strips or rolls exceeding 15 cm in width, and with its plastic coating or covering constituting less than half the total thickness, will be 4811.39.4040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for other (than certain enumerated) paper, coated, impregnated or covered with plastics. The general rate of duty will be free.

The second sample is a flexible sheet of clear polyethylene plastic laminated to a sheet of paper which has been continuously printed with logos, bar codes and product information concerning a certain brand of powdered drink mix. The arrangement of the printing suggests that the plastic/paper sheet is intended to be cut and folded into small packets or similar containers to be filled with individual servings of the referenced drink powder. In this instance, the lab finds that the total thickness of the sample is 0.080 mm, the layer of paper being 0.035 mm and its plastic covering 0.045 mm.

The applicable subheading for the "No. 7 Paper/Poly," when the layer of polyethylene constitutes more than half the total thickness, will be 3921.90.4010, HTSUSA, which provides for other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip of plastics, other, flexible, reinforced with paper. The general rate of duty will be 4.2%.

You have stated that the materials are manufactured in either the United States or Mexico. However, you have not indicated whether all of the components used in the manufacture of these materials, such as the resin and ink, are originating. If all of the components originate in the United States, Canada or Mexico, then the "No. 7 Paper/Poly", being made entirely in the territory of Mexico, using materials which themselves were originating, will satisfy the requirements of HTSUSA General Note 12(b) (iii). The merchandise will therefore be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and agreements.

If any of the components originate in countries other than the United States, Canada and Mexico, then the "No. 7 Paper/Poly" may still be eligible for reduced duty under NAFTA since each of the non-originating materials used to make the product has satisfied the changes in tariff classification required under HTSUSA General Note 12(t)/39.5. In this case, the finished articles will also be subject to a Regional Value Content (RVC) requirement of 60 percent under the Transaction Value Method or 50 percent under the Net Cost Method as required under the rule applicable to the "No. 7 Paper/ Poly." Assuming the goods are eligible for preferential treatment under the NAFTA, the merchandise will be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and agreements.

If any of the components used to make the "No. 7 Paper/Poly" are from a non-originating country and you desire a ruling regarding the Regional Value Content of your goods and their eligibility for NAFTA preferential treatment, please send the information noted in Section 181.93(b) of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 181.93(b)) to the Director, Commercial Rulings Division, Headquarters, U.S Customs Service, 1301 Constitution Ave., N.W., Franklin Court, Washington, D.C. 20229, along with a copy of this letter. This information should include a breakdown showing the country of origin and cost for each material, as well as the country of processing and cost for each of the manufacturing steps.

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

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Carl Abramowitz at (212) 466-5733.

This ruling letter is binding only as to the party to whom it is issued and may be relied on only by that party.


Roger J. Silvestri

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