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NY K89198

September 21, 2004

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 K89198


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.9880

Mr. Robert Farrell
Hallmaker AS
Strandveien 50
N-1366 Lysaker, Norway

RE: The tariff classification of tent covers from Hungary.

Dear Mr. Farrell:

In your letter dated August 16, 2004, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Pictures of the finished tents and a sample swatch of the tent fabric were provided with your letter. The fabric is composed of woven polyester that has been covered on both sides with plastic coating that is visible to the naked eye other than merely by change of color. Material of this construction is classified in chapter 39 for tariff purposes. The fabric is made in the United States and shipped on rolls to Hungary, where the fabric is cut to specific sizes and shapes. The cut pieces are heat seamed to form a tent cover. The tent covers are designed to be used with aluminum frames for various types and sizes of tents. In most cases, the tent covers are shipped to the United States without the frames and are used as replacement covers.

You suggest classification in heading 9406 as a pre-fabricated building. However, such tents are not considered to be pre-fabricated buildings. The features inherent to this merchandise neither comply with the requisite characteristics of permanency as intended by the tariff for prefabricated buildings, nor fit the ambit of the concept in the common or commercial meaning. A complete analysis of the distinction between tents and prefabricated buildings can be found in HQ 962129, dated June 11, 1999, and HQ 964230, dated September 28, 2001. You may access these rulings using the Customs Rulings Online Search System (CROSS) at the Customs and Border Protection website at http://rulings.customs.gov.

You inquired about duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Goods made in Hungary are not eligible for GSP treatment. You suggest that if dutiable, an allowance be made for the cost of the fabric made in the United States, and that only the costs of the “assembly” of the fabric be considered dutiable. However, cutting the fabric to size and shape and heat welding the pieces together are manufacturing processes and not assembly operations. There is no provision for a reduction of duty, and the cost of the U.S. made fabric must be included in the dutiable value of the tent cover.

The applicable subheading for the tent covers, whether imported with or without the metal frames, will be 3926.90.9880, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other articles of plastics, other. The rate of duty will be 5.3 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 Joan Mazzola at 646-733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

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