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March 24, 1999

CLA-2-69:RR:NC:2:227 D89050


TARIFF NO.: 6913.90.5000

Ms. Cecille Concepcion
Hedley’s, Inc.
21-41 45th Road
Long Island City, NY 11101

RE: The tariff classification of a decorative ceramic plate from Spain.

Dear Ms. Concepcion:

In your letter received in this office on March 8, 1999, on behalf of Mr. Nicholas Berggruen, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The subject merchandise is a decorative ceramic plate of terra-cotta which measures approximately 7 1/2 inches in diameter. This plate, entitled Taurpau Sous L’Abre, is stated to have been produced by Pablo Picasso in an edition of 500 and stamped and inscribed Edition Picasso on the posterior.

You request information regarding the limitations of subheading 9703.00.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for original sculptures and statuary, in any material. This provision covers works of the free fine arts and allows duty-free original sculptures including the first 12 of an edition. However, any one of the sculptures made in editions of more than 50 is considered mass-produced and, therefore, in regard to the instant Picasso plates, the first 12 sculptures will not even be allowed under heading 9703, HTS, since they are made in an edition of 500.

The applicable subheading for this decorative ceramic plate will be 6913.90.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other ornamental ceramic articles. The rate of duty will be 6 percent ad valorem.

With respect to the proper marking requirements, 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.

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 worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. 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.

Therefore, the ceramic plate must be properly marked in accordance with the above-cited marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134.

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 George Kalkines at 212-637-7073.


Robert B. Swierupski

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