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HQ 957616

June 23, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 957616 BC


TARIFF NO.: 4807.99.4000

Lisa Levaggi Borter, Esq.
Adduci, Mastriani, Schaumberg & Schill
1140 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Revocation of NYRL 886928; classification of gypsum linerboard; composite paper constructed with an adhesive

Dear Ms. Borter:

This responds to your letter of December 15, 1994, wherein you requested reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 886928 on behalf of your client Weig Karton, Inc. That ruling classified linerboard in heading 4804, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for uncoated kraft paper and paperboard, in rolls or sheets. You contend that the information upon which that ruling was based was incomplete and that the linerboard should be classified in heading 4807, HTSUSA, which provides for certain composite paper and paperboard, in rolls or sheets.

Upon review of the matter, we concluded that NYRL 886928 should be revoked for the reasons set forth below. Pursuant to section 625, tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization), notice of the proposed revocation was published May 17, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, No. 20. No comments were received in response to the notice.


On July 20, 1993, Customs issued NYRL 886928 to Montgomery International, Inc., on behalf of M.J. Weig & Co. The ruling described the merchandise therein classified as: (1) a lighter weight linerboard, weighing 221.2 g/sq. meter, with a Mullen bursting strength of 500.3, and consisting of more than 95% by weight of chemical unbleached kraft pulp fibers; and (2) a heavier weight linerboard, weighing 229.7 g/sq. meter, with a Mullen bursting strength of 558.9, and consisting of a mixture of bleached and unbleached kraft pulp fibers (not uniformly bleached throughout the mass). The ruling noted that neither linerboard met the tariff definition of "kraftliner" in Subheading Note 1 to Chapter 48, HTSUSA.

The ruling classified the lighter weight linerboard in subheading 4804.41.4000, HTSUSA, as other unbleached kraft paper or paperboard, weighing more than 150 g/sq. meter but less than 225 g/sq. meter, and the heavier weight linerboard in subheading 4804.59.0000, HTSUSA, as other kraft paper or paperboard, weighing 225 g/sq. meter or more.

In your letter, you stated that the facts presented to Customs at the time of the NY ruling were incomplete; thus, in the absence of a significant fact, Customs misclassified the linerboard. That fact is the presence of an adhesive used to bind the seven plies that make up the linerboard at issue.


What is the proper classification for the linerboard at issue consisting of seven plies bound together with an adhesive?


New York Ruling Letter 886928 was issued based on the information then available to Customs. The supplier of that information failed to point out that the linerboard was constructed through a process that employed an adhesive to bind its plies. This previous ruling request provided the following information regarding this point: "The seven sheets are couched together under pressure to form a seven ply single sheet and then steam dried. The dry seven ply single sheet is then rolled into reels." The Customs laboratory examined the samples then submitted and concluded that there was no adhesive present. Thus, the ruling was based in part on the then understood fact that the linerboard's plies were not bound with an adhesive.

In your letter, you disclosed the omitted fact that an adhesive is used in production of the linerboard; you stated that in the production process, an adhesive is "sprayed on each sheet and the seven plies are pressed together and steam dried." You indicated that in a meeting at Customs New York Seaport office, our National Import Specialist experienced in the classification of paper and paperboard products concluded that if the linerboard is constructed with the use of an adhesive, as you described, it should be classified in heading 4807, HTSUSA, as composite paper and paperboard (made by sticking flat layers of paper or paperboard together with an adhesive).

The samples of linerboard you submitted with the instant request for reconsideration were examined at the Customs laboratory. Its report #2-95-30582, dated January 27, 1995, indicates that an adhesive is present. We are now convinced that the linerboard tested and reported on in this lab report (#2-95-30582) is the same type of product classified in NYRL 886928. Since we herein recognize that the linerboard there classified was misdescribed, as hereinabove explained, and thus misclassified, we conclude that NYRL 886928 should be revoked and replaced by the instant ruling.


The linerboard at issue, constructed with an adhesive to bind its multi-layers (plies), is classifiable in subheading 4807.99.4000, HTSUSA, which provides in part for composite paper made by sticking flat layers of paper together with an adhesive, not surface-coated or impregnated, whether or not internally reinforced, in rolls or sheets: other: other: other. The applicable duty rate is "Free." Accordingly, NYRL 886928 is hereby revoked.

In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position as contemplated in section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c){1)).


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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