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NY B89949

October 2, 1997

CLA-2-24:RR:NC:2:231 B89949


TARIFF NO.: 2401.20.1440

Mr. Robert Kahn, Esq.
Robert O. Kahn
1632 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 223
Miami Beach, FL 33139

RE: The tariff classification of wrapper tobacco from Indonesia.

Dear Mr. Kahn:

In your letter, dated September 10, 1997, you have requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Rolling Blunts, Inc., Miami, FL.

The merchandise is comprised of stemmed wrapper tobacco. The wrapper tobacco is grown in Indonesia, compressed, baled, and shipped to Nicaragua. In Nicaragua the bales are unwrapped and the compressed tobacco is separated into individual leaves. The individual leaves are cut into small, uniform pieces, and packaged into sealed, plastic containers. The product will be used for rolling cigars and cigarettes.

The applicable subheading for the stemmed wrapper tobacco will be 2401.20.1440, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for unmanufactured tobacco (whether or not threshed or similarly processed); tobacco refuse, tobacco, partly or wholly stemmed/stripped, other, containing over 35 percent wrapper tobacco, wrapper tobacco, other. The rate of duty will be free.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 USC 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 134.41 (b)], the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 134.41(a)], provides that as a general rule, marking requirements are best met by marking that is worked into the article at the time of manufacture. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review. The wrapper tobacco is packed in a small, sealed, plastic container. The back of the container is marked "PRODUCT OF U.S.A." In your correspondence you indicate that the country of origin will be Nicaragua. Accordingly, we advise you that the product must be properly marked to indicate Nicaragua as the country of origin.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 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 Ralph Conte at (212) 466-5759.


Robert B. Swierupski

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