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HQ 961209

July 22, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 961209 RH


TARIFF NO.: 4802.52.1000

Mr. Rick E. Moore
Director Sales and Marketing, International Paper Products Marketing
806 S.W. Broadway, Suite 300
Portland, Oregon 97205

RE: Classification of computer forms paper; subheading 4810.52.1000; writing paper

Dear Mr. Moore:

This is in reply to your letter of October 1, 1997, requesting a ruling on the classification of computer forms paper.


The merchandise at issue is plain white computer forms paper imported from Thailand in rolls ranging in width from 24" to 50" and from 40" to 50" in diameter. You state that the paper is made of approximately 89% chemical wood pulp fiber and 11% ash/filler. The paper will be further manufactured after importation, i.e., cut, print, perforated, etc., into fan-folded computer printout paper with a green/white banded appearance.


What is the classification of the computer forms paper?


Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 4802 encompasses "Uncoated paper and paperboard, of a kind used for writing, printing or other graphic purposes, and punch card stock and punch tape paper, in rolls or sheets, other than paper of heading 4801 or 4803; handmade paper and paperboard: Weighing 40 g/mý or more but not more than 150 g/mý.

Note 4 (c) to Chapter 48, reads:

In addition to hand-made paper and paperboard, heading 4802 covers only paper and paperboard made mainly from bleached pulp or from pulp obtained by a mechanical process and satisfying any of the following criteria:

(c) Containing more than 3 percent ash and having a brightness of 60 percent or more;

A Customs laboratory analyzed the paper at issue and found that it had 7.8 percent ash and a brightness of 87.1 percent on one side and 87.9 percent on the other side. Thus, the paper satisfies Note 4(c), Chapter 48, for classification within heading 4802.

Customs has classified computer paper under subheading 4802.52.1000, HTSUSA, as writing paper. See, New York Ruling Letter (NY) 808208, dated March 24, 1995, and NY 835943, dated April 5, 1989. See also, HQ 076583, dated February 6, 1986, which, although decided under the Tariff Schedule of the United States (TSUS), sets forth the rationale for classifying computer paper as writing paper. In that ruling, we stated that:

[W]riting papers have been defined, for tariff purposes, as paper "for the recordation of data by pen, pencil, typewriter or similar device as means of communication by one or a limited number of copies to one or a limited number of receivers" . . . Customs has held that paper chiefly used in or with such machines, for such purposes, is writing paper.

The American Paper Institute, in its May 1984 Supplement to the Dictionary of Paper, Fourth Edition (1980), states that "Writing papers consist of a wide variety of papers suitable for pen and ink writing or for use with the typewriter, automatic accounting equipment, copiers, computers, etc." Emphasis added. The Supplement specifically notes that end use products include, but are not limited to, "writings, letters, notes, mimeographing, spirit duplicating, electrostatic copying, convenience copying papers, writing tablets, envelopes, bank checks, currency, ledger sheets, business and accounting forms, including computer print-out forms and deposit slips." Emphasis added.

Based on the foregoing, we find that the computer forms paper is classifiable as writing paper under subheading 4802.52.1000, HTSUSA.


The computer forms paper at issue is classifiable as writing paper under subheading 4802.52.1000, HTSUSA. It is dutiable at the general one column rate at 1.4 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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