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NY D84977

December 17, 1998

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:2:230 D84977


TARIFF NO.: 4410.90.0000

Mr. Scott D. Johnson
572 South Fifth St.
P.O. Box 155
Pembina, ND 58271

RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of strawboard from Canada; Article 509

Dear Mr. Johnson:

In your letter received on November 23, 1998 you requested a ruling on the status of strawboard from Canada under the NAFTA. The request was made on behalf of the manufacturer, Isobord Enterprises Inc.

A sample of the strawboard and additional information from the manufacturer was submitted. The sample is a 3/4 inch thick board made primarily of fine straw particles and a resin. Approximately 89 percent of the board is straw. The straw is obtained from farms surrounding the manufacturing plant in Manitoba, Canada. The isocyanate resin is obtained from and produced by a chemical company in the Unites States. The straw is ground into small particles which are then mixed with the resin binder. Heat and pressure applied to the mixture produces straw particle board.

The applicable tariff provision for the strawboard will be 4410.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for particle board and similar board of wood or other ligneous materials, whether or not agglomerated with resins or other organic binding substances; of other ligneous materials. The general rate of duty will be Free.

The strawboard, being made entirely in the territory of Canada using materials which themselves were originating, will satisfy the requirements of HTSUSA General Note 12(b)(iii). The merchandise will therefore be entitled to a Free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

In addition to the classification, you requested an exemption from the country of origin marking requirements. You stated that the product is used by manufacturers of furniture and kitchen cabinets.

Your client, Isobord Enterprises, stated that at present, the strawboard is being sold to two manufacturers in the United States who apply a finishing veneer or a laminate.

A product brochure states that the strawboard is intended to be sold to retail building supply stores as well as furniture, wood working and cabinet manufacturers.

Based on the information submitted, the strawboard is generally required to be marked with the country of origin.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 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. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134) implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

The country of origin marking requirements for a "good of a NAFTA country" are also determined in accordance with Annex 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), as implemented by section 207 of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat 2057) (December 8, 1993) and the appropriate Customs Regulations. The Marking Rules used for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country are contained in Part 102, Customs Regulations. The marking requirements of these goods are set forth in Part 134, Customs Regulations.

On a case by case basis, an exception from marking may be granted. Section 134.35 (b) of the Customs Regulations provides that a good of a NAFTA country which is processed in the United States in a manner that would result in the good becoming a good of the United States under the NAFTA Marking Rules would be excepted from marking. The marking exception would depend on the circumstances of a specific shipment. The destination, importer, U.S. manufacturer and processing steps would have to be known in order to make a determination of whether or not the marking exception applies.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181).

This ruling letter is binding only as to the party to whom it is issued and may be relied on only by that party.

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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