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NY I85113

September 18, 2002

CLA-2:RR:NC:2:226 NY I85113


TARIFF NO.: 6802.92.00; 6908.90.00

Mr. T. Randolph Ferguson
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg and Glad & Ferguson 1 Sutter Street
10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin of limestone tiles from Italy and ceramic tiles from the United States

Dear Mr. Ferguson:

In your letter dated July 18, 2002 you requested a tariff classification ruling, on behalf of ST Design, regarding stone tiles and ceramic tiles. Samples were submitted with your ruling request. These samples will be returned to you with the exception of two of the stone tiles that were sent to our Customs laboratory for analysis.

You stated that the stone tiles are made in Italy and painted in the Philippines while the ceramic tiles are made in the United States and painted in the Philippines. You stated that when the stones tiles are placed together the painted images on all of them will form a whole design. You also stated that when the ceramic tiles are placed together the painted images on all of them will form a whole design.

In your presentation you suggested that these products be classified in subheading 9701.00.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) under the provision for paintings, drawings and pastels executed by hand. However, hand-decorated manufactured articles are not included in heading 9701. The fact that a ceramic or stone article incorporates a hand-painted subject does not mandate classification of this merchandise as paintings executed entirely by hand. These products are simply manufactured items that have been decorated; they are not paintings. Subheading 9701.00.00 does not apply to these articles.

You stated that the stone tiles consist of travertine. However, analysis of the sample by our Customs laboratory revealed that these tiles actually consist of limestone, not travertine.

The applicable subheading for the limestone tiles will be 6802.92.00, HTS, which provides for worked monumental or building stone and articles thereof...other: other calcareous stone. The rate of duty will be 4.9 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the ceramic tiles will be 6908.90.00, HTS, which provides for glazed ceramic flags and paving, hearth or wall tiles; glazed ceramic mosaic cubes and the like, whether or not on a backing: other. The rate of duty will be 10.6 percent ad valorem.

Assuming you can present documentation verifying the U.S. origin of the ceramic tiles and the fact that they were altered (painted) in the Philippines, the ceramic tiles can be classified in subheading 9802.00.50, HTS, which provides for articles returned to the United States after having been exported to be advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means: articles exported for repairs or alterations: other. The rate of duty will be free except for the value of the repairs or alterations (the value of the painting) which will be dutiable at the rate of 10.6 percent ad valorem.

You also inquired about the correct country of origin for marking purposes for both the stone and ceramic tiles. In each case, the country of origin is the country in which the tile was manufactured, not the country in which it was painted. The stone tile or ceramic tile remains a tile after painting. The act of painting does not substantially transform the merchandise. Therefore, the correct country of origin for the stone tiles is Italy and the correct country of origin for the ceramic tiles is the United States.

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.

For questions regarding Chapter 68, contact National Import Specialist Jacob Bunin at 646-733-3027. For questions regarding Chapter 69, contact National Import Specialist George Kalkines at 646-733-3028.

If you have any questions regarding our determination that subheading 9701.00.00, HTS, does not apply contact National Import Specialist Lawrence Mushinske at 646-733-3026.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity

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