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NY F81532

January 27, 2000

CLA-2-98:RR:NC:TA:352 F81532


TARIFF NO.: 9811.00.60

Mr. Fernando Flores
Ferca International
8911 Mcpherson Unit 5-D
Laredo, Texas 78045

RE: The tariff classification of fabric samples for soliciting orders for products of a foreign country from Mexico.

Dear Mr. Flores:

In your letter dated December 21, 1999, on behalf of your client Kravet Fabrics, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Several photographs depicting representative items of the fabric samples accompanied your request for a ruling. Your letter indicates that home furnishing fabrics produced in a various countries outside the United States will be sent to Mexico where they will be prepared for use as samples for soliciting orders for the fabrics. In Mexico the fabrics will be cut to the appropriate size, sewn and ticketed with identifying and marketing material and subsequently imported into the United States. The size of the samples will vary based on the size of the pattern or motif. The sample sizes will include 3” X 5”, 6” X 9”, 13” X 18”, 18” X 27”, 27” X 27” and 36” X 54” samples. The samples are used in the importer’s showrooms to solicit orders for the foreign produced fabrics. On occasion the samples may be lent to customers so they may examine them in the context in which the fabrics will be used. Although you state that the samples are all valued under one dollar each, our examination of the photographs leads us to believe that it is possible that some of the larger samples may exceed the one dollar level.

Subheading 9811.00.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States, provides for free entry of any sample valued not over $1.00 each, or marked, torn, perforated or otherwise treated so that it is unsuitable for sale or for use otherwise than as a sample, to be used in the United States only for soliciting orders for products of foreign countries. Based on the photographs and your description of the use of these items, it is clear that these products will be used for soliciting orders for foreign produced fabrics. For those items valued not over $1.00, subheading 9811.0060 would apply.

With regard to those samples valued over $1.00, the additional requirement that the sample must be marked, torn, perforated or subjected to some other treatment making it unsuitable for sale or use otherwise than as a sample must be addressed. Guidelines specifying how various samples may comply with requirements of the statute were promulgated telex in “Interim Update to Customs Directive 3500-07” dated February 11, 1987. These guidelines provide that for fabric swatches:

(A) A section or hole may be cut in the main body of the fabric. The size of the Section or hole should be approximately 1 inch in diameter.

Note: The cut size may be sufficient to be considered a sample. Therefore, not requiring a section or hole to be cut in the fabric swatch. However, the facts of the importation should be considered, particularly the end use, which may lead to the determination that the swatches can be used in the condition imported and thus are not samples. The maximum size for a fabric swatch that need not be cut or marked is 8 inches by 8 inches. Any size larger must be cut or marked.

(B) The fabric swatch may be marked with the word “SAMPLE” in indelible ink or paint. The size of the word “SAMPLE” should be at least 1 inch in height and at least 2 inches in length and in a contrasting color to the swatch.

In addition, the guidelines require that fabric not over two yards in length must be marked with the word “SAMPLE” at least 1 inch high by 5 inches in length on the face of the fabric in contrasting color. It is unclear from the few pictures provided whether the larger samples which may exceed $1.00 in value comply with these guidelines or are otherwise processed in such a way as to make them unsuitable for sale or use otherwise than as samples for soliciting orders.

The applicable subheading for the fabric samples that are not over $1.00 in value will be 9811.00.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for any sample valued not over $1.00 each, or marked, torn, perforated or otherwise treated so that it is unsuitable for sale or use otherwise than as a sample, to be used in the United States only for soliciting orders for products of foreign countries. The rate of duty will be free. For the fabric samples that exceed $1.00, the same provision applies provided the sample conforms to the statute by being marked, torn or otherwise treated so it is unsuitable for sale as specified in the “Interim Update to Customs Directive 3500-07”.

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 Alan Tytelman at 212-637-7092.


Robert B. Swierupski

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