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NY K85570

May 5, 2004
CLA-2-98:RR:NC:SP:233 K85570


TARIFF NO.: 9812.00.2000

Mr. S.J. Lombardo Jr.
Liberty Customs Brokerage Inc.
P.O. Box 769
Buffalo, NY 14213

RE: The tariff classification of original works of art from Canada.

Dear Mr. Lombardo:

In your letter dated April 27, 2004, on behalf of Art Gallery of Ontario, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Original works of art are imported temporarily for exhibition at well-known institutions and art galleries for the encouragement of the arts.

Subheading 9812.00.20, HTS, (19CFR 1202) provides in pertinent part for an exemption from duty on any article imported for encouragement of the arts. Prior to the release of articles under heading 9812.00.20 or 40, bond shall be given for the payment of lawful duties which may accrue should any of the articles be sold, transferred or used contrary to the provisions of this subchapter within 5 years after the date of entry hereunder, and such articles shall be subject at any time within such 5-year period to examination and inspection by Customs officers. Surety on such bonds shall be waived in the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury.

The statute is implemented by 19 CFR 49. That regulation allows the district director of Customs with whom the entry is filed to require a declaration of compliance by a qualified office of the Authority and a bond that would guaranty the Authority’s compliance with the statue and regulation. Since you indicate that the artworks will be exhibited at art galleries, please be aware that U.S. Note 1 to subchapter XII states that the provisions of this subchapter do not apply to articles intended for sale or for any purposes other than exhibition or erecting a public monument, nor do they apply to an institution or society engaged in or connected with business of a private or commercial character.

Under Note 2 to subchapter XII, Chapter 98, HTS, Congress authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to waive surety bonds posted by institutions to cover entries under subheading 9812.00.20, HTS. That authority to waive surety has been delegated to the Customs Service. The district director, with whom the entry is filed, is authorized to allow Art Gallery of Ontario to post a bond without surety.

The applicable subheading for the original works of art will be 9812.00.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Articles imported for exhibition by any institution or society established for the encouragement of agriculture, arts, education or science, or for such exhibition by any State or for a municipal corporation.” The rate of duty will be free, under bond, as prescribed in U.S. Note 2 to this subchapter. The exemption from duty under subheading 9812.00.20, HTS, requires that the merchandise is not sold for five years from the date of entry.

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 Lawrence Mushinske at 646-733-3036.


Robert B. Swierupski

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