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March 29, 1999

CLA-2-71:RR:NC:1:118 D89656


TARIFF NO.: 7108.13.7000/9902.71.08

Mr. John M Peterson
Neville, Peterson & Williams
80 Broad Street - 34th Floor
New York, New York 10004

RE: The tariff classification of gold wire for semiconductor bonding from Singapore or Malaysia.

Dear Mr. Peterson:

In your letter dated March 22, 1999, on behalf of your client Conexant Systems, Inc., Newport Beach, CA, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The subject item is described as high purity gold wire which is specially designed for use in semiconductor bonding. Your submitted sample, which will represent the product in its imported condition, is a hair-thin wire measuring 0.0125 millimeters in diameter, with a purity in excess of 99.9% pure gold. The spooled wire is also labeled Alloy AW14, quantity 1640' melt G1255, and PN 19014M11-19. A small quantity of dopant material has been added to the wire for the purpose of improving semiconductor bonding characteristics. The wire will be imported for use in the bonding of semiconductors and semiconductor devices.

The applicable subheading for the gold wire will be 7108.13.7000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for gold (including gold plated with platinum), unwrought or in semimanufactured forms, or in powder form: nonmonetary: other semimanufactured forms: other: other. The duty rate normally would be 4.1% ad valorem. However, there is a temporary reduction in the rate of duty for wire containing 99.9 percent or more by weight of gold with the dopants added to control wirebonding characteristics, having a diameter of 0.05 millimeters or less, for use in the manufacture of diodes, transistors, and similar semiconductor devices or electronic integrated circuits. If imported into the United States on or before 12/31/2000, the rate of duty will be free. The applicable subheading will be 9902.71.08, HTS.

Although you did not request a country of origin marking ruling, please note that upon examining your sample the following marking was prominent on the product with no indication as to the proper country of origin:

American Fine Wire
907 Ravenwood Dr., Selma, AL 36701

Furthermore, the reddened print of American Fine Wire was very conspicuous in nature.

Section 134.46 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46) provides that in any case where the words "U.S.," "American," or any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the U.S., or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appear on any imported article or its container, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters or name, and at least in a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or other words of similar meaning.

The above information is offered by this office as a reminder, so that there is no misunderstanding of the marking statutes for you or your client.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this 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 Kathy Campanelli at 212-637-7025.


Robert B. Swierupski

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