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NY I80204

July 10, 2002

CLA-2-48:RR:NC:2:234 I80204


TARIFF NO.: 4804.39.6040

Domtar, Inc.
Papers Group
395 De Maisonneuve Blvd. West
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 1L6

RE: The tariff classification of four grades of paper from Canada


In your letter dated April 2, 2002, you requested a tariff classification ruling. Samples of four grades of sheet material, with specifications, were furnished. The samples were forwarded to the Customs Laboratory for analysis; the Laboratory has now reported.

The grades of material are: HC Kraft Blue Gray 6880 HC Kraft Gray 6854
NSK Kraft 20 CAN 5883
NSK Kraft CAN 5882

You advise that these grades are made of Western Red Cedar pulp, and are base sheets which are sold to converters who “hydroentangle” them with polyester fibers, which results in a fabric used to manufacture surgical disposable wipes, gowns and drapes.

To make them suitable for this purpose, only Western Red Cedar pulp is used; no refining is done on the fibers; and typical papermaking additives such as alum, size, filler, starch and wet strength resins are not used. Some grades include dye, dye fixative and biocide.

You propose classification for these sheet-materials as “pulp”, of chapter 47, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). We do not agree.

The General Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized System, for Chapter 48 defines “paper” as follows: “Paper consists essentially of the cellulosic fibres of the pulps of Chapter 47 felted together in sheet form.” This clearly describes the samples furnished.

You rely to some extent on the descriptions of materials in a previous ruling: NY 888157, September 23, 1993. We have reviewed that ruling, and conclude that it is not persuasive as precedent for classifying base sheets for hydroentanglement as “pulp”, and not as “paper”. The cellulosic materials of that ruling are in several places referred to as “paper”.

On the other hand, the sample sheets weigh 31 gsm, 44 gsm, and 47 gsm; weights in which paper often is made. The Laboratory confirmed that the sheets did not meet the specifications for classification in heading 4802, HTS; but the values reported for factors such as brightness and burst index were found to be at or near those of 4802 papers.

The applicable subheading for the grades enumerated above will be 4804.39.6040, HTS, which provides for: Uncoated kraft paper and paperboard, in rolls or sheets, other than that of heading 4802 or 4803: Other kraft paper and paperboard weighing 150 g/m2 or less: Other (than certain specified kinds). The rate of duty will be 0.8 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 646-733-3037.


Robert B. Swierupski

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