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NY M82468

April 28, 2006

CLA-2-:RR:NC:TAB:354 M82468


Ms. Hilda L. Fontecchio
V.A. Alexander & Co., Inc.
3286 North Park Blvd., Suite D
Alcoa, TN 37701-3255

RE: The tariff treatment of a box used to package boxer shorts

Dear Ms. Fontecchio:

In your letter dated April 5, 2006, written on behalf of your client, Luxury Apparel Group LLC, you requested a ruling as to the proper treatment of merchandise imported by your client.

You have submitted a sample of a cardboard box. You state that your client intends to import men’s cotton woven boxer shorts packed within these boxes. The importer will purchase the boxes from one manufacturer who will send them free of charge to the manufacturer of the boxer shorts. The manufacturer of the boxer shorts will then pack three pairs of boxer shorts in each box. The box bottom size measures 2.75 inches in height, nine inches in width, and 10 inches in length; the lid size measures 0.9 inches in height, 9.25 inches in width, and 10.25 inches in length and is imprinted with the words “Tweed Peacock” and features a peacock design. A sample of the boxer shorts was not submitted.

The importer believes that the box will be reused for other purposes after the end user purchases the boxer shorts because of the high quality of the box. The intended country of origin of the box will be Indonesia. You did not state the country of origin of the boxer shorts. The box is not specially shaped or fitted to contain the boxer shorts.

We must determine whether the box is classified separately or with its contents. GRI 5, HTS, which covers cases, containers and packing materials, reads as follows:

Camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, drawing instrument cases, necklace cases and similar containers, specially shaped or fitted to contain a specific article or set of articles, suitable for long-term use and entered with the articles for which they are intended, shall be classified with such articles when of a kind normally sold therewith. This rule does not, however, apply to containers which give the whole its essential character; Subject to the provisions of rule 5(a) above, packing materials and packing containers entered with the goods therein shall be classified with the goods if they are of a kind normally used for packing such goods. However, this provision is not binding when such packing materials or packing containers are clearly suitable for repetitive use.

GRI 5(a) does not apply to the submitted box because it is not specially shaped or fitted to contain the boxer shorts. GRI 5(b) applies if the box is found not to be suitable for repetitive use. It is reasonable to conclude that the instant box is not suitable for repetitive use as required by GRI 5(b), therefore the box is classified with its contents pursuant to GRI 5(b).

Section 402(b)(1)(A) of the TAA requires that an addition to the price actually paid or payable be made for “the packing costs incurred by the buyer with respect to the imported merchandise.” Section 402 (h)(3) of the TAA defines packing costs as “the cost of all containers and coverings of whatever nature and of packing, whether for labor or materials, used in placing merchandise in condition, packed ready for shipment to the United States.” Accordingly, the cost of the boxes should be added to the price actually paid or payable.

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 Deborah Marinucci at 646-733-3054.


Robert B. Swierupski

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