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NY K85180

May 11, 2004
CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 K85180


TARIFF NO.: 3920.20.0000; 9802.00.8068

Mr. Gary H. Jones
Expeditors International
6950 Engle Road, Suite XX
Middleburg Hts, OH 44130

RE: The tariff classification of BOPP/PET film from Germany.

Dear Mr. Jones:

In your letter dated April 4, 2004, on behalf of Avery Dennison, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Samples and a description of the manufacturing process were submitted with your request. A sheet of silicone coated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polyester film, manufactured in the United States, will be shipped to Germany. This component, identified as liner item 1, measures 79 inches in width and 30,350 feet in length and is 1 mil thick. In Germany the film will be coated on the silicone side with an emulsion of acrylic adhesive made in Switzerland. It will then be laminated to a biaxially oriented clear polypropylene film measuring 2 mils in thickness that has been coated with a solution that promotes the acceptance of inks during the printing process. You submitted follow-up information indicating that the weight of the polypropylene film exceeds the weight of the polyester film.

You have provided an illustration of the manufacturing process. The roll of silicone coated polyester film is unwound, coated with wet adhesive and passed through ovens where the coating is dried. It then passes through a laminator where it is bonded with the polypropylene film, which is being unwound at another section of the machine. One silicone coated polyester liner roll will become a part of multiple product rolls. The final rolls of laminate will be shipped back to the United States at 79 inches wide and 15,000 feet long. After reimportation into the United States, the 79 inch wide laminate rolls will be shipped to a finishing center where they will be cut into narrower widths and shorter lengths for eventual use as labels.

The applicable subheading for the film will be 3920.20.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics, noncellular and not reinforced, laminated, supported or similarly combined with other materialsof polymers of propylene. The rate of duty will be 4.2 percent ad valorem.

You have inquired about an exemption of duty for goods that contain components of American origin that have been assembled abroad. Subheading 9802.00.80, HTS, provides for a partial duty exemption for articles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, the product of the United States, which (a) were exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape or otherwise, and (c) have not been advanced in value or improved in condition abroad except by being assembled and except by operations incidental to the assembly process such as cleaning, lubricating and painting.

All three requirements of subheading 9802.00.80, HTS, must be satisfied before a component may receive a duty allowance. An article entered under this tariff provision is subject to duty upon the full cost or value of the imported assembled article, less the cost or value of the U.S. components assembled therein, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of section 10.24, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.24).

Section 10.14(a), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 10.14(a)], requires that the components must be in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication at the time of their exportation from the United States to qualify for the exemption. Components will not lose their entitlement to the exemption by being subjected to operations incidental to the assembly either before, during, or after their assembly with other components.

Section 10.16(a), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 10.16(a)], provides that the assembly operation performed abroad may consist of any method used to join or fit together solid components, such as welding, soldering, riveting, force fitting, gluing, lamination, sewing, or the use of fasteners. Operations incidental to the assembly process are not considered further fabrication operations, as they are of a minor nature and cannot always be provided for in advance of the assembly operations. See 19 CFR 10.16(a).

In this case, laminating the United States origin polyester film to the Belgium origin polypropylene film is an acceptable assembly operation pursuant to 19 CFR 10.16(a). Furthermore, cutting the polyester film to length in Germany is enumerated as an acceptable operation incidental to the assembly process under 19 CFR 10.16(b)(6).

The assembly meets the three criteria listed above. Therefore, the laminated BOPP/PET film is eligible for a partial duty exemption under subheading 9802.00.8068, HTS. The laminated film is dutiable upon the full value of the imported article, less the cost or value of the United States origin silicone coated PET film provided the documentary requirements of 19 CFR 10.24 are satisfied.

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 Joan Mazzola at (646) 733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

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