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NY C89134

August 26, 1998

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:SP:230 C89134


TARIFF NO.: 4602.10.1800; 4420.90.4500

Ms. Michele Smith
Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Import Dept. 733IMP
3333 Beverly Road, BC 204A
Hoffman Estates, IL 60179

RE: The tariff classification of wooden boxes from China.

Dear Ms. Smith:

In your letter dated June 10, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling. Three samples were submitted and are being returned to you as requested. We regret that one of them was damaged during laboratory analysis.

Stock #93814 is a cylindrical box, about 6 1/2" in diameter and 4 3/4" in height, with a removable lid. The bottom, sides and lid of the box are constructed of continuous sheets of wood. However, the exterior surfaces of both the sides and the lid are completely covered with thin, wide interwoven strips of a red-colored plaiting material identified by our laboratory as Shorea, a species of hardwood. There are also rims which are made of bent strips of bamboo. The sample is said to be part of a set of two boxes, which presumably differ only in size.

For tariff purposes, the above-described box will be considered a composite article made essentially of two forms of wood: continuous sheets (products of which are classifiable in Chapter 44) and plaited strips (products of which are classifiable in Chapter 46). Although the wooden sheets provide the article with its structure, the plaited strips predominate in terms of exposed surface area and visual impact. Under these circumstances, we find that neither form of the wood can be said to impart the box's essential character. In accordance with General Rule of Interpretation 3(c) of the tariff schedule, the box will therefore be classified in the provision which appears last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

The applicable subheading for the #93814 boxes will be 4602.10.1800, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other (than certain enumerated) baskets and bags, whether or not lined, of vegetable plaiting materials. The rate of duty will be 4.5%.

Stock #93817 is a 5" x 8" x 3 1/2"(H) box with a hinged, flip-open lid secured by a metal latch at the front. It is made essentially of continuous sheets of wood, but portions of the exterior are decorated with some strips of bamboo and some small pieces of metal. The exposed wooden exterior surfaces are painted in an alternating red-and-green color scheme. You identify the sample as part of a three-piece set of "decorative box trunks."

Stock #93821 is basically the same as #93817, except that it features an all-green color scheme and lacks the metal ornaments. You refer to the sample as one of a three-piece set of "greenwood decorative suitcase style boxes."

The applicable subheading for stock numbers 93817 and 93821 will be 4420.90.4500, HTS, which provides for jewelry boxes, silverware chests, microscope cases, tool or utensil cases and similar boxes, cases and chests, all the foregoing of wood: not lined with textile fabrics. The rate of duty will be 4.8%.

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 Paul Garretto at 212-466-5779.


Robert B. Swierupski

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