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NY A87155

September 6, 1996

CLA-2-49:RR:NC:GI:234 A87155


TARIFF NO.: 4911.99.8000

Mr. Eric B. Leete
Argents Express Group
2653 Greenleaf Ave.
Elk Grove, IL 60007-5512

RE: The tariff classification of printed plastic stretch-sleeve labels from Italy.

Dear Mr. Leete:

In your letter dated August 21, 1996, on behalf of CPF, Inc. (Ayer, MA) and Smurfit Flexible Packaging (Schaumburg, IL), you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A sample was submitted and will be retained for reference. It is a printed sleeve, made of flexible white polyethylene plastic sheeting, intended to be placed around four 2-liter bottles of certain soda (carbonated beverage) comprising a retail "value pack." The printing consists of identifying logos and product information such as fluid content, ingredients and nutrition facts. It is assumed that the sleeve's main purpose is to act as a label, although a secondary function may be to help hold the "value pack" together.

A single sleeve has a circumference of about 28 inches and a height of 6 1/2 inches. However, the items are put up in the form of a flat roll which is repetitively printed so as to form series of identical, individual sleeves, which can be pulled apart at perforations provided for that purpose.

You note that this merchandise has previously been imported, and that it was entered (classified) by filer F.W. Myers as "printed matter." It has come to our attention, however, that the particular "printed matter" sub-heading used may have been the one covering "trade advertising material."

While this office agrees that plastic labels like the instant goods constitute printed matter, it is also our position that for tariff purposes they are not "advertising material." Unlike a catalog, billboard sign or sales flyer, for example, a label's principal function is to identify the product to which it is attached, and to convey specific information about that product to a purchaser.

Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the printed plastic "stretch sleeves" will be 4911.99.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other (non- enumerated) printed matter. The rate of duty will be 3.9%.

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.


Roger J. Silvestri

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