United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2005 NY Rulings > NY L84720 - NY L84768 > NY L84757

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY L84757

May 23, 2005

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:N1:106 L84757


TARIFF NO.: 8443.40.0000

Ms. Gail Cummins
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt
75 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: The tariff classification of a thermal coating machine from Switzerland

Dear Ms. Cummins:

In your letter dated May 9, 2005, on behalf of Eastman Kodak Company, you requested a tariff classification ruling. You included technical literature with your request.

The merchandise in question is an industrial machine designed to produce bulk rolls of thermal transfer ribbon. Thermal transfer ribbon is the medium used to produce prints of digital photographs. The finished ribbon contains a series of transparent colored panels in a repeating pattern of cyan, magenta, yellow and clear, separated by registration strips. One set of the panels is used to print each picture, with the cyan, magenta and yellow panels providing the color and the clear panel covering the print with a special coating to make it highly durable and waterproof.

You state that the thermal coating machine is actually a gravure printing machine that has been modified to perform the coating process. The modifications which you highlight include: a curtain coating technology for applying ink to the gravure cylinder, the addition of more efficient air dryers, the ability to convey extremely thin film and the functionality of coating ribbon rather than printing images, text, graphics or other printed materials. The technical literature with your request lists “gravure cylinders” as a featured component of the machinery in question as well as impression rollers. These are major components of a printing process.

It is your belief that because of the modifications made to the gravure printing machine cited above that it is no longer a gravure printer for tariff purposes. You argue, instead, that the machine in question is other printing machinery of heading 8443, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). We do not agree with your conclusion.

Heading 8443, HTS, inter alia, provides for printing machinery used for printing by means of printing type, blocks, plates, cylinders and other printing components of heading 8442. The coating process herein at issue is a printing process, as you argue. The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to heading 8443 states that the heading covers all machines used for printing by means of the type, printing blocks, plates or cylinders of the previous heading (heading 8442). The ENs to 8442 states that the heading covers equipment used “in the printing of texts, illustrations or repetitive designs, etc., whether on paper, textiles, linoleum, leather or on other materials, by printing processes”. Among the printing processes discussed in the 8442 ENs is intaglio printing, which embraces gravure printing. The machine at issue uses as major components of the thermal coating process gravure rollers and impression rollers. These are printing components included in heading 8442 and the gravure cylinders are featured elements of the intaglio printing process. Subheading 8443.40, HTS, provides for gravure printing machinery. This eo nomine provision does not have any limiting language associated with it. Since the thermal coating machine at issue uses printing components of heading 8442 in a specific printing process involving gravure technology it is more squarely within the ambit of subheading 8443.40, HTS, than in the subheading providing for other printing machinery.

The applicable subheading for the thermal coating machine will be 8443.40.0000, HTS, which provides for gravure printing machinery. The rate of duty will be 2.2 per cent 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 Patrick Wholey at 646-733-3013.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: