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August 25, 1999

CLA-2-48:RR:NC:SP:234 E85945


TARIFF NO.: 4823.90.8500; 9802.00.8065

Mr. Donald A. Keller
O’Neill & Whitaker, Inc.
1809 Baltimore Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64108

RE: The tariff classification of a “shadow box” displaying a laser-cut paper design, from Thailand.

Dear Mr. Keller:

In your letter dated August 9, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Hallmark Cards, Inc.

A prototype sample identified as a “shadowbox,” stock number 1695LAS4237, was submitted and is being returned to you as requested. It is an 8” x 8” wooden frame (similar to a picture frame) with a glass front and a cardboard back that enclose a space about 1” deep. Visible through the glass are two intricate, laser-cut paper leaf designs, suspended within the box at two different depths so as to create a three-dimensional effect. Although a printed inspirational caption appears on the lower portion of a plain paper border, the cut-paper designs occupy most of the space and provide the item with its principal appeal. A saw-toothed metal hanger (affixed to the back) will facilitate mounting the article on a wall for display in the home.

You state that this product will be made in Thailand using components originating both in the United States (i.e., the two laser-cut paper designs and a paper background sheet) and Thailand (all other components). You provide a step-by-step production sequence, which begins as follows:

1. Sheets of American-made paper are litho printed with designs and/or colors in the United States.

2. These printed sheets of paper then go through the laser cutting machine which produces the desired and programmed design. Both the laser cut-outs and the back sheet are cut to size. Both processes are done in the United States.

3. These designs, etc. are then sent to Thailand for assembly into the finished product.

The remaining steps (4-10) describe how, in Thailand, the glass and wood will be processed, how the U.S. paper components will be glued onto acrylic panels and inserted into the frame, etc.

The applicable subheading for the #1695LAS4237 “shadowbox” will be 9802.00.8065, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for: Articlesassembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, the products of the United States, which (a) were exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape or otherwise, and (c) have not been advanced in value or improved in condition abroad except by operations incidental to the assembly process.

The duty shall be at the rate which would apply to the imported article itself, as an entirety without constructive separation of the components, in its condition as imported if it were not within the purview of subchapter II, Chapter 98, upon the full value of the imported article, less the cost or value of such products of the United States.

The applicable rate in this case is 2.6%, derived from subheading 4823.90.8500, HTS, which provides for other (non-enumerated) articles of paper or paperboard.

Articles classifiable under subheading 9802.00.8065/ 4823.90.8500, HTS, which are products of Thailand may be entitled to duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) upon compliance with all applicable regulations. The GSP is subject to modification and periodic suspension, which may affect the status of your transaction at the time of entry for consumption or withdrawal from warehouse. To obtain current information on GSP, check the Customs Web site at www.customs.gov. At the Web site, click on "CEBB" then search for the term "GSP".

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 Carl Abramowitz at 212-637-7060.


Robert B. Swierupski

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