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NY B86887

July 22, 1997

CLA-2-48:RR:NC:SP:234 B86887


TARIFF NO.: 4823.90.2000

Ms. Robin B. Schwartzman
5510 Surrey Street
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-5524

RE: The tariff classification of hand-painted papier-mache "lacquer boxes" from Russia and the Ukraine.

Dear Ms. Schwartzman:

In your letter dated June 26, 1997, you requested a tariff classification ruling. Detailed merchandise descriptions and photographs accompanied your inquiry.

The items in question are small, ornately painted boxes with removable lids. Known as "Russian lacquer boxes," they are typically displayed for decorative purposes, used for household storage of trinkets and the like, or simply held as collectors' pieces.

Fabricated from papier-mache, the boxes are lacquered, then hand painted on the exterior with pictures having traditional Russian themes, lacquered again and given a final polishing and buffing. The finished boxes usually have red interiors, with multicolored pictures appearing on black backgrounds on the exteriors.

The applicable subheading for the papier-mache lacquer boxes will be 4823.90.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for articles of papier-mache. The rate of duty will be 2.2%.

The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) expired at midnight May 31, 1997. If the program is renewed by Congress, articles classifiable under subheading 4823.90.2000, HTS, which are products of Russia or the Ukraine will be entitled to duty- free treatment under the GSP upon compliance with all applicable regulations.

Your letter states that lower-quality boxes may occasionally be made of "a type of particle board" rather than papier-mache. However, the foregoing ruling applies only to the papier-mache boxes. If you require a ruling on the particle-board variety, please submit an expendable sample of same.

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 Carl Abramowitz at 212-466-5733.


Gwenn Klein Kirschner

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