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NY C80550

October 24, 1997

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 C80550


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.7500

Steven S. Weiser
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036-8901

RE: The tariff classification of Dunnage Bags from Mexico.

Dear Mr. Weiser:

In your letter dated October 14, 1997, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Shipping Systems, Inc.

The merchandise is an inflatable dunnage bag which is laid beneath or wedged among objects carried by ship or rail to prevent injury from chafing or moisture or to provide ventilation. The bags range in size from 36 inches by 36 inches to 36 inches by 108 inches and are composed of a two-ply brown kraft paper exterior and a one-ply polyethylene plastic lining. It is said that both materials are manufactured in the United States.

In Mexico, you state that the kraft paper and the polyethylene plastic sheeting are subjected to a production process that:

"involves unwinding two rolls of kraft paper and one roll of polyethylene sheeting together by machine and forming them into a tube. The back seam of the paper is then glued while the back seam of the polyethylene is heat sealed. Next, the tube is cut to the appropriate length and a hole is punched to facilitate the placement of an air valve. This valve is then heat sealed to the polyethylene liner to form an airtight seal. Afterward, the bags are folded to size and both glued and heat sealed together to form an airtight end-seal. Finally, the bags are tested for quality and prepared for shipment."

Regarding the basis for classification of this sample dunnage bag, we consider General Interpretative Rule 3(b) the most appropriate in the context, given that the article submitted is, in fact, a composite article. The article consists of two components, paper and plastic. Each of these components is classified in a different heading of the tariff schedule. In determining whether this article will be classified under a provision for paper or plastic, we must decide which of the two components imparts the essential character to this composite good. In our opinion, the inflatable plastic portion is the component which plays the primary role in achieving the purpose for which a dunnage bag is designed. Accordingly, the article is classified as if it consisted of the plastic component which gives the dunnage bag its essential character.

The applicable subheading for the dunnage bag will be 3926.90.7500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for "pneumatic mattresses and other inflatable articles, not elsewhere specified or included." The general rate of duty is 4.2 percent ad valorem.
nafta eligibility

To be eligible for tariff preferences under the NAFTA, goods must be an "originating good", within the rules of origin in general note 12(b), HTSUS. General note 12(b)i, HTSUS, states:

[f]or the purposes of this note, goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for the tariff treatment and quantitative limitations set forth in the tariff schedule as "goods originating in the territory of a NAFTA party" only if-- (i) they are goods wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States.

The dunnage bags are manufactured from components or materials exclusively produced in the United States and assembled in the NAFTA territory. Consequently, they are eligible for preferential treatment under the NAFTA.

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 Tom McKenna at 212-466-5475.


Robert Swierupski

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