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HQ 560775

February 20, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:SM 560775 MLR


TARIFF NO.: 9801.00.10

Diane L. Weinberg, Esq.
Wendt, Weinberg & Temples, L.L.C.
The Candler Building, Suite 1303
127 Peachtree Street, N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30303-1800

RE: Applicability of duty exemption under HTSUS subheading 9801.00.10 to ribbons printed abroad; company name; logo

Dear Ms. Weinberg:

This is in reference to your letter of December 10, 1997, on behalf of Lawrence Schiff Silk Mills, Inc. (hereinafter "LSSM"), requesting a ruling on the applicability of subheading 9801.00.10, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), to certain ribbons printed abroad. Samples of printed and unprinted ribbons were submitted with your request. Your country of origin marking request will be answered in a separate ruling, 560765, along with your submissions dated December 2 and 3, 1997.


It is stated that LSSM manufactures ribbon by weaving U.S. yarn in its plant in Pennsylvania. The ribbon is used for packaging, primarily for wrapping cosmetic items. It is stated that the ribbon will be sent to France to be printed generally with the names or logos of cosmetic companies. The printing process produces a raised ink logo. The sample submitted contains the printing "1947 Sin Rejac 50 Ans". It is stated that the unprinted ribbon will be exported in a variety of styles and fibers on 200 to 250 yard spools, and that the printed ribbon will be imported from France on the same rolls. After importation into the U.S., it is stated that the ribbon will be cut and rewound on smaller rolls, or made into a bow or ribbon hanks. By telephone, you confirmed that the ribbon will not be dyed abroad.


Whether the U.S.-origin ribbons exported to France for printing will be entitled to duty-free treatment under subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, when returned to the U.S.


Subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, provides for the free entry of products of the United States that have been exported and returned without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad, provided the documentary requirements of section 10.1, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.1), are met. Some change in the condition of the product while it is abroad is permissible. However, operations which either advance the value or improve the condition of the exported product render it ineligible for duty-free entry upon return to the United States. Border Brokerage Company, Inc. v. United States, 314 F. Supp. 788 (1970), appeal dismissed, 58 CCPA 165 (1970).

Customs has held that foreign stamping or printing of a product to identify the manufacturer and describe the product does not advance its value or improve its condition so as to preclude entry under 9801.00.10, HTSUS. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 071449 dated October 17, 1983 (surgical drapes stamped in ink with the name of the company, size, and model number, and packaged in plastic bags were not precluded from item 800.00, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS) (now 9801.00.10, HTSUS), treatment); see also, HRL 555183 dated February 15, 1989, (printing dental floss dispensers with the company name and description of the floss type, flavor and length, and bulk-packaged in cardboard boxes did not preclude subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, treatment for the dispensers); HRL 557071 dated April 2, 1993 (plastic bottles labeled by a silk screening process with a company name, identifying data of a product, instructions, and the bottle's capacity were eligible for subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, treatment); and HRL 557771 dated May 26, 1994 (golf putters, of U.S. origin, engraved by an epoxy process with the manufacturer's name or logo in Canada, were eligible for duty-free entry under subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, upon return to the U.S.).

In the instant case, the ribbon will be printed with company names and logos. We find this type of printing to be analogous to the printing involved in the rulings cited above where the company name was printed on the surgical drapes and dental floss dispensers. Therefore, we find that printing the ribbon in France will not preclude subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, treatment, upon their return to the U.S.


On the basis of the information and samples submitted, the ribbons woven from U.S. yarn in the U.S., exported for printing in France with a company name and/or logo will be eligible for duty-free treatment under subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, when returned to the United States, provided the documentation requirements of 19 CFR 10.1 are satisfied.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time the goods are entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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