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NY 818807

February 16, 1996

CLA-2-56:RR:NC:TP:350 818807


TARIFF NO.: 5603.13.0010

Mr. John A. Rajski
The Hipage Company, Inc.
1126 S. 70th Street
P.O. Box 14124
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53214

RE: The tariff classification of nonwoven wiping cloths (wet-wipes) produced in France from fabric which is the product of the United States.

Dear Mr. Rajski:

In your letter dated November 22, 1995, which was received January 30, 1996, on behalf of Kimberly Clark Corp., Knoxville, TN, you requested a tariff classification ruling. The foreign processor and exporter in France is Cosmetique, LeHarve.

The merchandise in question consists of nonwoven base sheet of man-made fiber filaments which is produced by Kimberly Clark, Corinth, MS. This fabric is exported to France where it is slit to width, perforated crosswise and placed, in rolls of 50 sheets (10.5"x10.5"), into a plastic container. A liquid of a proprietary formulation based on a mixture of solvents and solutionizers is added to the container creating a finished canister of "wet-wipes". These wipes are designed for use in an industrial environment and are disposed of after use. These moist wipes were weighed by the New York Customs laboratory and were found to weigh 129.5g/m2. The dispensing canister these wipes come in is for one time use, disposable and is considered to be packing.

The applicable subheading for the wipes will be 5603.13.0010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated, of man-made filaments, weighing more than 70g/m2 but not more than 150g/m2, impregnated, coated or covered with material other than or in addition to rubber, plastics, wood pulp or glass fibers. The rate of duty will be 7.5 percent ad valorem on the full value of the goods.

You request consideration under HTS 9802.00.50 for the U.S. material exported to France. Subheading 9802.00.50, HTS, provides for the assessment of duty on only the value of repairs or alterations performed on articles returned to the U.S. after having been exported for that purpose. However, the application of this tariff provision is precluded in circumstances where the operations performed abroad destroy the identity of the articles or create new or commercially different articles of commerce. Further, subheading 9802.00.50, HTS, is not applicable where the exported articles are incomplete for their intended use and the foreign processing operations are a necessary step in the preparation or manufacture of the finished articles. Such is deemed to be the case in the situation described here since the wipes returned to the U.S. are ready for use in a capacity that the raw material exported to France was not. Repairs and alterations are made to completed articles and do not include intermediate processing operations which are performed as a matter of course in the preparation or manufacture of finished articles. Therefore, no duty allowance can be made for the cost or value of the American supplied raw material. 9802... cannot be applied to the U.S. supplied material.

For the purposes of marking (Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1304) the imported wipes are a considered to be a product of the United States. Although the exported rolls of raw material are advanced in value, they are merely processed into finished articles by the various operations described above while abroad, which does not substantially transform them into a product of France. Accordingly, these wipes should be marked "Fabric of U.S. origin processed in France".

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

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 George Barth at 212-466-5884.


Roger J. Silvestri
National Commodity

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