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NY B88592

September 5, 1997

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:SP:230 B88592


TARIFF NO.: 4414.00.0000; 9801.00.1096

Mr. Christopher L. Thayer
Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Kansas City, Missouri 64141

RE: The tariff classification of picture frames, of wood and bone, with printed inserts, from India.

Dear Mr. Thayer:

In your letter dated August 8, 1997, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Three samples identified as "bone framed prints" were sub-mitted and are being returned to you as requested. Each consists of a lithographed "sentiment" (quotation printed on a 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" slip of paper) mounted behind glass within a wooden frame decorated with pieces of carved bone. The frames have full wood backs incorporating hinged, easel-type stands.

We note that the wooden back panel of each frame can be easily removed after turning three rotatable metal tabs which hold it in place. The slip of paper bearing the printed "sentiment" can then be removed/replaced without difficulty. Considering the ease of replacing the prints, and in view of the somewhat unusual nature of the frames themselves, these articles will be considered frames rather than "printed matter," for tariff purposes.

The face of each frame is extensively or completely decorated with flat, rectangular-shaped overlays and/or inlays of carved bone. While these pieces of bone impart a distinctive appearance, their role is essentially ornamental. Structurally, the frames are of wood, and will be considered as such for tariff purposes.

The applicable subheading for the "bone framed prints" (styles 2495AKS3023, 1895AKS3024 and 1895AKS3025) will be 4414.00.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for wooden frames for paintings, photographs, mirrors or similar objects. The rate of duty will be 4.7%.

Articles which are classifiable under subheading 4414.00.0000, HTS, which are products of India are entitled to duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) upon compliance with all applicable regulations.

You have indicated that the paper inserts for all three styles will be printed and die cut in the U.S. and then sent to India, where they will simply be placed into their respective Indian-made frames.

Accordingly, the inserts (prints) will be eligible for the duty exemption under subheading 9801.00.1096, HTS, which provides for the free entry of U.S. products that are exported and returned without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any means while abroad. For entry purposes, the value of the prints may therefore be broken out under subheading 9801.00.1096, HTS. This assumes that the documentation requirements of 19 CFR 10.1 are met, and that Customs officials at the port of entry are satisfied of the U.S. origin of the prints claimed to be entitled to this duty exemption.

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 Paul Garretto at 212-466-5779.


Gwenn Klein Kirschner

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