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HQ 963657

May 5, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 963657 RH


TARIFF NO.: 4811.31.2010

Port Director of Customs
U.S. Customs
33 New Montgomery Street #1501
San Francisco, CA 94105

RE: Protest No. 2809-99-100830; Classification of packaging material for beverage containers; Heading 4811; HQ 962815

Dear Sir:

This is in response to Customs Protest and Summons Information Report dated November 30 1999, concerning Protest Number 2809-99-100830. The law firm of Kirkland & Ellis timely filed the protest on October 18, 1999, on behalf of Tetra Pak, Inc., challenging Customs classificaiton of Prisma packaging material as a carton under subheading 4819.20.0020 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA). Customs relied on Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 088322, dated April 8, 1991, to classify the merchandise.


Initially, we note that in section V of the protest form (CF 19), counsel answered “yes” to question 14(c) that their client had previously received an adverse administrative decision from Customs or that an application for an administrative decision on the same claim with respect to the same category of merchandise was pending.

In fact, at the time the protestant entered the merchandise at issue into the United States on May 4, 1999, a request for a binding ruling on the merchandise was already under review by our office. The request was submitted on April 27, 1999, and raised the same arguments presented in the instant protest.

Our office issued a ruling referenced as HQ 962815 on December 6, 1999, classifying the Prisma packaging material under subheading 4811.31.2010, HTSUSA, which provides for base stock for milk cartons and other beverage containers. A copy of HQ 962815 is enclosed. Because HQ 962815 is dispositive of the classification issue, you should reliquidate the entry in question in accordance with the HOLDING in that ruling, reiterated below. If you have any questions, please call Rebecca Hollaway at (202) 927-2379.


What is the correct classification of the Prisma packaging material under the HTSUSA?


Refer to HQ 962815


The protest should be GRANTED. The Prisma packaging material is classifiable under subheading 4811.31.2010, HTSUS, which provides for "Paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibers, coated, impregnated, covered, surfacecolored, surfacedecorated or printed, in rolls or sheets, other than goods of the kind described in heading 4803, 4809 or 4810: Paper and paperboard, coated, impregnated or covered with plastics (excluding adhesives): Bleached, weighing more than 150 g/m5: 0.3 mm or more in thickness: Base stock for milk cartons and other beverage containers."

Merchandise imported under this tariff provision is duty free.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you are to mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to the mailing of this decision.

Sixty days from the date of the decision, the Office of Regulations and Rulings will make the decision available to Customs personnel, and to the public on the Customs Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.ustreas.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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