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NY 818834

February 29, 1996

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:TP:343 818834


TARIFF NO.: 3924.90.5500

Mr. Rocky Bruni
Bruni International Inc.
P.O. Box 2756
Laredo, TX 78044-2756

RE: The tariff status under the North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA) of net sponges from Mexico; Article 509.

Dear Mr. Bruni:

In your letter dated January 31, 1996, on behalf of, Filtros y Mallas Industrial, S.A. de C.V. Arisoteles, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted two samples of a bath\cosmetic net sponge marketed as a "Pleasure Puff". The sponge is made of layers of polyethylene, extruded net, merged to create a soft sponge. The polyethylene net is considered to be plastic.

The applicable subheading for the net sponge will be 3924.90.5500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics, other, other. The general rate of duty will be 3.4 percent ad valorem.

You have stated that the net sponges will be manufactured in Mexico by Filtros y Mallas Industrial, S.A. de C.V. Arisoteles. You have not, however, indicated the country of origin of the extruded net material, nor the country of origin of the resin from which the net was extruded. If the resin and the net material originate in The United States or Mexico, then the net sponges, 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 free of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

If the goods used to manufacture these sponges originate in countries other than the United States, Canada and Mexico, then the finished articles may still be eligible for reduced duty under NAFTA, since each of the non-originating materials used to make the sponges has satisfied the changes in tariff classification required under the HTSUSA General Note 12(t)/39.10.

In this case, the net sponges 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 sponges. Assuming the goods are eligible for preferential treatment under the NAFTA, the merchandise will be free of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

If the materials used to make the net sponges 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 and showing 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 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. If you have any questions regarding this ruling, contact National Import Specialist Alice R. Masterson at 212-466-5892.

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


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