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February 11, 1999

CLA-2-97:RR:NC:SP:233 D87900


TARIFF NO.: 9701.10.0000; 9801.00.10

Mr. David C. Cohen
Masterpiece International, Ltd.
90 Washington Street
New York, NY 10006

RE: The tariff classification of paintings from England.

Dear Mr. Cohen:

In your letter dated February 5, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling concerning original paintings created wholly by hand.

The applicable subheading for paintings will be 9701.10.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for paintings drawings and pastels. The rate of duty will be free.

You have indicated that some paintings are made by known American artists such as Andy Warhol, Willem Dekooning, Jackson Pollack, Keith Haring, etc. The paintings may have been created, executed, and constructed by the artist in the United States at some point in their career. The paintings have, at another point, been sent abroad for various reasons. When these same paintings are sent back to the United States, they are eligible for entry under subheading 9801.00.10, which provides for the duty free entry of U.S. products that are exported and returned without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any means while abroad. An affidavit must be presented to substantiate a claim of United States origin.

If the value of the paintings has increased during the years abroad, due to appreciation and not by means of improvement in condition by any process, the tariff classification is not affected. 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 Lawrence Mushinske at 212-637-7061.


Robert B. Swierupski

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