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April 1, 1999

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 D89658


TARIFF NO.: 3926.10.0000

Mr. Mark Sandstrom
Thompson Hine & Flory LLP
1920 N Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036-1601

RE: The tariff classification of unfinished notebook binders from China.

Dear Mr. Sandstrom:

In your letter dated March 22, 1999, on behalf of Mead Corporation, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted samples of three unfinished zippered notebook binders, identified as styles 29230, EVA 29230 and 33496. The binders are complete except for the metal ring fixtures and backings, which will be attached after importation. The back covers and inside lining, including inside open compartments, are made of woven polyester fabric. The front covers of styles 29230 and 33496 are made from a material consisting of cellular polyvinyl chloride (PVC) backed with a uniformly dyed plain woven fabric. The front cover of style EVA 29230 is made from a material consisting of a uniformly dyed plain woven fabric laminated on one side with cellular PVC and on the other side with cellular ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). The materials comprising the fronts of all three binders are considered to be plastics for tariff classification purposes. The binders have stiffeners, made of polyethylene sheeting, between the exterior and interior layers, giving shape to the notebook binders. In addition, each binder contains a cushioning layer of foamed polyethylene sheeting between the stiffener and the outer surfaces. For each style of notebook binder, the cost and weight of the plastics components significantly exceed the cost and weight of the textile components. In addition, the front cover of the binder is the component which is most significant in terms of imparting the visual and decorative effect of the complete article. The essential character of each of the three binders is imparted by the plastics components. The samples, which were damaged during analysis, are being returned as you requested.

The applicable subheading for the unfinished notebook binders, styles 29230, EVA 29230 and 33496, will be 3926.10.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other articles of plastics...office or school supplies. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

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 Joan Mazzola at 212-637-7034.


Robert B. Swierupski

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