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HQ 965187

MAY 29, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 965187 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7115.90.05

Richard L. Furman, Esq.
De Orchis, Walker & Corsa, LLP
61 Broadway, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10006-2802

RE: NY G88058 Modified; Investment Gold Bars

Dear Mr. Furman:

In your letter, dated July 19, 2001, on behalf of Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, Inc., you request a review of NY G88058, dated March 12, 2001, which classified certain investment gold bars, among other gold bars, as articles of goldsmiths’ or silversmiths’ wares, of precious metal, in subheading 7114.19.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed modification of NY G88058 was published on April 24, 2002, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 36, Number 17. No comments were received in response to that notice.


The merchandise in NY G88058, about which you inquire, is described as PAMP Fortuna investment gold bars ( the “PAMP bars”). The ruling included gold bars in various shapes with different designs, but only the rectangular-shaped PAMP Fortuna gold bars are at issue here. A single page from a brochure on the merchandise which you submitted, depicts gold articles, generally rectangular in shape, with rounded corners and a raised edge. One side is stamped with the purity of the gold (99.99%), the weight of the bar ranging from 1 gram to 10 troy ounces, and a hallmark depicting the
manufacturer (PAMP) and the country of manufacture (Suisse). A decorative profile of the Goddess Fortuna is stamped on the other side. The file reflects this to be a registered PAMP trademark. The brochure page depicts a bar in a clear plastic display folder with assay information at the bottom. Gold bars of this type are not cast; rather, they are struck, that is, generally stamped from bars rolled to strip form.

You maintain that these bars do not appear to be of the class or kind of articles regarded as goldsmiths’ or silversmiths’ wares. More importantly, you cite NY D89806, dated March 31, 1999, which classified what appear to be substantially similar articles in subheading 7108.13.55, HTSUS, as other gold, unwrought or in semimanufactured forms. Alternatively, you maintain that the provision for other articles of precious metal, in rectangular or near rectangular shapes, in subheading 7115.90.05, HTSUS, represents the correct classification.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

7108 Gold (including gold plated with platinum) unwrought or in semimanufactured forms:

Other semimanufactured forms:

Rectangular or near rectangular shapes, containing 99.5 percent or more by weight of gold and not otherwise marked or decorated than with weight, purity, or other identifying information

Articles of goldsmiths’ or silversmiths’ waresof precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal:

Of other precious metal whether or not plated or clad with precious metal

Other articles of precious metal or of metal with precious metal:


Articles of precious metal, in rectangular or near rectangular shapes, containing 99.5 percent or more by weight of a precious metal and not otherwise marked or decorated than with weight, purity or other identifying information


Whether the PAMP Fortuna investment gold bars are articles of heading 7114 or heading 7115.


Under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), goods are to be classified according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

Chapter 71, Note 10, HTSUS, states that for the purposes of heading 7114, the expression “articles of goldsmiths’ or silversmiths’ wares” includes such articles as ornaments, table ware, toilet-ware, smokers’ articles and other articles of household, office or religious use. Clearly, one would be unlikely to purchase the PAMP investment gold bars at issue here solely for display purposes but, as the description implies, for purposes of investment, or to be melted down and reformed into jewelry or other gold articles. The identifying information stamped on the bars authenticates the gold content. These bars bear no demonstrated similarity to the goods of heading 7114 described in Chapter 71, Note 10.

As to classification under heading 7108, HTSUS, as gold in semimanufactured forms, Additional U.S. Note 1(b), HTSUS, states the term “semimanufactured” refers to wrought metal products in the form of bars, rods, sections, plates, sheets, strips, wire, tubes, pipes and hollows bars, and to powder (other than primary metals in powder form). In the main, the articles in Note 1(b) are made from the various primary forms of metal regarded as “unwrought” and delineated in Additional U.S. Note 1(a), HTSUS. However, as the term implies, these “semimanufactured” forms, while discrete articles of commerce in themselves, are intended for further manufacture into other articles. The gold bars at issue are generally stamped from bars rolled to strip form. But, they are not bars of the type identified in Note 1(b), but are further processed by die stamping on them the indicia of authenticity discussed previously. These bars are processed beyond
semimanufactured forms into “articles” of gold. NY D89806, dated March 31, 1999, classified gold bars substantially similar to the ones at issue here in subheading 7108.13.55, HTSUS. That ruling is incorrect and has been revoked.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the PAMP Fortuna investment gold bars in rectangular shapes are provided for in heading 7115. They are classifiable in subheading 7115.90.05, HTSUS.


NY G88058, dated March 12, 2001, is modified as to these bars. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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