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NY E86256

August 30, 1999

CLA-2-48:RR:NC:SP:234 E86256


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 framed, laser-cut paper display, 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 “table top see through” home decoration, stock number 1495LAS4189, was submitted and is being returned to you as requested. It consists of a 7” x 7” wooden picture frame which holds a paper “cutout” sandwiched between two flat panes of clear glass. The paper is a single, flat sheet which has been intricately laser-cut to create “lettering” that spells out the following sentence: “Good things happen when you believe in God who always believes in you.” This “cutout message” constitutes the article’s principal appeal, even though the area of the paper surrounding it has been conventionally, repetitively printed with the words “hope,” “faith,” and “joy,” interspersed with laser-cut stars.

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

1. A sheet of American-made paper is litho printed with designs and colors in the United States.

2. This sheet of paper then goes through the laser cutting machine which produces the desired and programmed design.

3. This design is 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 component will be glued onto one of the glass panels and inserted into the frame, etc.

The applicable subheading for the #1495LAS4189 home decoration 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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