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NY G84686

December 27, 2000

CLA-2-48:RR:NC:2:234 G84686


TARIFF NO.: 4823.90.8500

C.R. LeConte
A.N. Derringer, Inc.

15 River Street

Calais, ME 04619-1894

RE: The tariff classification of oil spill containment products from Canada.

Dear Mr. LeConte:

In your letter dated August 17, 2000, on behalf of your client, LASEC Enterprises, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling. On September 15, we rejected that request because we found it to be incomplete and we asked for more information. On November 30, we received an undated response from LASEC with that information.

LASEC will be importing oil spill containment equipment kits and they have submitted literature describing them. They have grouped them into five general groups.

Group 1 consists of items LE-730, LE-750, and LE-318, which are kits that contain the following:

LE-750: (3) polyethylene booms, 7” diameter x 10’ length, made of knitted polyethylene and containing absorbent chips made from “wood fiber” which is actually defibrated raw wood fibers and recycled material such as boxboard, newsprint, and reject insulation board; polypropylene rope, (2) metal snap links and (2) metal rings.

LE-730 is essentially the same, but the booms are 5” x 10”.

LE-318 contains only the absorbent booms.

Group 2 consist of items LE-770 and LE-775 absorbent pillows made of polypropylene mesh and filled with the same chips as the booms, and LE-780 and LE-785, absorbent chips in bags.

Group 3 consists of items 81125, 81150, 48240, 48220, absorbent “loose particulate” granular form, which is the same recycled materials as above, but in granular form in bags, and 48305, absorbent “w” pillow, apparently the same material in a polypropylene mesh pillow, as above.

Group 4 consists of items E-100, polypropylene pads, 17’ x 19”; E-150, polypropylene rolls, 3’ x 3’, and FS-48x absorbent polypropylene “sock,” 3’ x 48”.

Group 5 consists of the following Spill Response Pak and Kits:

LE-1826 contains a plastic drain sealer, two polypropylene socks with nylon tubing, six 17” x 19” absorbent polypropylene pads, an 8-liter natural cellulose bag, and two large plastic disposable bags.

EM-KO6 contains two socks, two 8” x 17” cotton pillows filled with natural cellulose fiber, five absorbent pads, two 10-liter bags containing natural cellulose fiber, a pair of disposable nitrile gloves, and two large disposal bags. It is contained in a clear plastic box with wood handles.

EM-KO5 contains a 5’ x 10’ boom, three bags of loose particulate (natural cellulose fiber), 15 polypropylene pads, a pair of gloves and two disposal bags. It is contained in a hard plastic box with a hinged cover.

LE-800 contains a neoprene mat (3’ x 3’ x 1/8”) three 5’ booms, 50 pads, three absorbent blankets, two bags of loose particulate, and three disposal bags. It is housed in a 45-gallon plastic drum.

Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. When goods are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings, GRI 3 must be consulted. GRI 3(b) provides that goods put up in sets for retail sale shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character.

The Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b) indicate, in pertinent part, that "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are prima facie classifiable in different headings; (b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and (c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repackaging.

Each oil spill containment kit meets criteria (a), (b), and (c) above. Every component within each kit is dedicated to cleaning up oil spills. Packaged together, each kit is put up for sale directly to the consumer without any need for repacking.

The essential character of each set must be determined to allow for proper classification. In general, "essential character" has been construed to mean the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish an article. It may be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of the constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. In the case of the oil spill containment kits, we find that the essential character is conferred by the material which actually absorbs the oil, namely the so-called wood fiber, which is actually defibrated raw wood fibers and recycled waste paper.

The applicable subheading for the oil spill containment kits will be 4823.90.8500, HTS, which provides for: Other (than certain specified) articles of paper. The rate of duty for 2001 will be 1.6 percent ad valorem.

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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