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July 20, 1999

CLA-2-98:RR:NC:SP:233 E84818


TARIFF NO.: 9801.00.60

Mr. John O’Halloran
Masterpiece International, Ltd.
90 Washington Street
New York, NY 10006

RE: The tariff classification of Pre-Columbian objects returned from Canada.

Dear Mr. O’Halloran:

In your letter dated July 9, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Your clients will be importing Pre-Columbian objects to Canada for an exhibition entitled “Maya Universe” to be held at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art. At the close of the exhibition, the objects which originated in Guatemala, Belize and Mexico will be returned to the U.S.

The applicable subheading for the Pre-Columbian objects will be 9801.00.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Articles, when returned after having been exported for use temporarily abroad solely for any of the following purposes, if imported by or for the account of the person who exported them: Exhibition or use at any public exposition, fair or conference. The rate of duty will be free.

Regarding the admissibility of the Pre-Columbian artifacts, the U.S. has trade agreements with both Guatemala and Mexico. The former dates from November 4, 1991 (TD 91-34) and covers archaeological material from the Peten Region forming part of the remains of the ancient Mayan culture. Proof must be furnished at time of importation that these objects were either out of Guatemala prior to the date of the T.D. or not from the Peten Region.

The Treaty of Cooperation with Mexico dates from March 24, 1971. Again, documentation must be furnished at time of importation that these objects were out of Mexico prior to the date of the Treaty. 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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