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NY M83059

May 12, 2006

CLA-2-48:RR:NC:SP:234 M83059


TARIFF NO.: 4820.10.2020

Mr. Troy D. Crago
Atico International (USA), Inc.
501 South Andrews Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin of a paper writing pad (memorandum pad) in a plastic folder, from Indonesia and Malaysia via Singapore.

Dear Mr. Crago:

In your letter dated April 25, 2006, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A sample identified as a “pad holder” (item # W093QA00204) was submitted for our examination and is being returned to you as requested. It consists of a folder (bifold cover), made of black PVC plastic sheeting wrapped around cardboard stiffeners, which contains a removable paper memorandum pad. The folder, which has no closure mechanism or arrangement to secure it in the closed position, measures approximately 9¼” x 12¼” x 5/16” when closed. The folder’s left interior panel incorporates a half-sleeve note holder, and there is also a loop-type pen holder at the spine. The contained 8½” x 11¾” memorandum pad consists of 50 sheets of ruled (lined) white paper and a gray paperboard backer bound together along the top edge by staples and a glued-on paperboard strip. The pad is held within the folder by means of its backer having been inserted into a full-width slot at the top of the folder’s right interior panel. The paper in the memorandum pad is horizontally perforated just below the binding strip so that 8½” x 10¾” sheets can be torn off.

The applicable subheading for the complete # W093QA00204 “pad holder” with contained paper memorandum pad will be 4820.10.2020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for memorandum pads, letter pads and similar articles, of paper or paperboard. The rate of duty will be Free.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

The merchandise in question may be subject to antidumping duties and/or countervailing duties. A list of AD/CVD proceedings at the Department of Commerce (DOC) and their product coverage can be obtained from the DOC website at: http://ia.ita.doc.gov, or you may write to them at the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Office of Antidumping Compliance, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20230. Written decisions regarding the scope of AD/CVD orders are issued by the Import Administration in the Department of Commerce and are separate from tariff classification and origin rulings issued by Customs and Border Protection.

You have also requested that we rule on the country-of-origin status of the above-described product. In this regard, you advise that the folder component (bifold cover) is made in Malaysia, while the paper memorandum pad is made in Indonesia. You state further that, prior to export to the United States, the two components “are combined together as a complete item in Singapore.”

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

For country of origin marking purposes, the country of origin of a good is the country of manufacture, production or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States, or the country in which the good was last substantially transformed. See, generally, 19 CFR 134.1(b). A substantial transformation occurs when an article undergoes a manufacturing process or operation that results in a new article having a new name, character or use different from that of the original article. See United States v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (1940); National Hand Tool Corp. v. United States, 989 F.2d 1201 (Fed. Cir. 1992).

In the instant scenario, the operation that take place in Singapore simply entails placing the Indonesian paper memo pad inside the Malaysian folder. Neither component undergoes a substantial transformation because each stays intact and retains its separate identity. No significant change in name, use or character accrues to either item by virtue of its impermanent attachment to the other.

Thus, the country of origin of each component remains unchanged by the combining procedure that takes place in Singapore. The combined good (or the container, if any, in which it will be sold to the ultimate purchaser) must therefore be marked to indicate the origin of each component, e.g., “Pad Made in Indonesia; Folder Made in Malaysia.”

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 Carl Abramowitz at 646-733-3037.


Robert B. Swierupski

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