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NY M83699

June 21, 2006

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:N2:221 M83699


TARIFF NO.: 3924.90.5500

Mr. David Arseneau
Pacific Customs Brokers, Inc.
P.O. Box 4505
Blaine, WA 98231-4505

RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of a wedding gown preservation kit from Canada; Article 509

Dear Mr. Arseneau:

In your undated letter, which was received in this office on May 22, 2006, on behalf of Jennifer Largy and Kelli Saunders, d/b/a The Family Jewels Archival Preservation Co., Canada, you requested a ruling on the status of a wedding gown preservation kit from Canada under the NAFTA.

The sample submitted with your request is identified as “The Family Jewels Archival Preservation Kit.” The kit consists of a corrugated plastic storage box, an archival cotton muslin liner and cover, 35 sheets of unbuffered archival tissue, a pair of white cotton gloves and an instruction sheet. The kit is used to store and protect a wedding gown. The instructions indicate that after the dress has been cleaned, every layer of fabric should be interleaved with the enclosed tissue. Once the dress is wrapped in tissue it is placed in the muslin lined storage box. The box is then placed inside the muslin cover to prevent the buildup of static electricity and to keep the contents of the box dust free. This cover can be embroidered with a monogram and date. The cotton gloves are worn during gown preparation to keep it clean. The gloves are then placed in the box so they are available for use each time the box is opened for gown inspection, refolding or use.

You have listed the country of origin of each component. You have indicated that the box is manufactured in Canada. The cotton muslin fabric is milled in China and then sewn in Canada into a liner and cover to fit the box. The tissue and the cotton gloves are manufactured in the United States. The instruction sheet is printed in Canada.

You suggest classification as a set in subheading 3923.10.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plasticsboxes, cases, crates and similar articles. However, Customs Headquarters has ruled that the articles of heading 3923 are those that are used in the conveyance or packing of bulk goods and commercial goods, not items in the possession of the consumer. The box is used by the consumer for the storage of a wedding gown that is the possession of the consumer.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Tariff System provide guidance in the interpretation of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System at the international level. Explanatory Note X to GRI 3(b) provides that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods that: (a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings; (b) consist of articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and (c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. Goods classifiable under GRI 3(b) are classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, which may be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the article. This office considers the gown preservation kit to be a set for tariff classification purposes, with the essential character imparted by the storage box.

The applicable tariff provision for the wedding dress storage box set will be 3924.90.5500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics: other: other. The general rate of duty will be 3.4 percent ad valorem.

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/.

General Note 12(b), HTSUS, sets forth the criteria for determining whether a good is originating under the NAFTA. General Note 12(b), HTSUS, (19 U.S.C. § 1202) states, in pertinent part, that

For the purposes of this note, goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for the tariff treatment and quantitative limitations set forth in the tariff schedule as "goods originating in the territory of a NAFTA party" only if--

(i) they are goods wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States; or

(ii) they have been transformed in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States so that--

(A) except as provided in subdivision (f) of this note, each of the non-originating materials used in the production of such goods undergoes a change in tariff classification described in subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) of this note or the rules set forth therein, or

(B) the goods otherwise satisfy the applicable requirements of subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) where no change in tariff classification is required, and the goods satisfy all other requirements of this note; or

(iii) they are goods produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States exclusively from originating materials; or

(iv) they are produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States but one or more of the nonoriginating materials falling under provisions for "parts" and used in the production of such goods does not undergo a change in tariff classification because--

(A) the goods were imported into the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States in unassembled or disassembled form but were classified as assembled goods pursuant to general rule of interpretation 2(a), or

(B) the tariff headings for such goods provide for and specifically describe both the goods themselves and their parts and is not further divided into subheadings, or the subheadings for such goods provide for and specifically describe both the goods themselves and their parts,
provided that such goods do not fall under chapters 61 through 63, inclusive, of the tariff schedule, and provided further that the regional value content of such goods, determined in accordance with subdivision (c) of this note, is not less than 60 percent where the transaction value method is used, or is not less than 50 percent where the net cost method is used, and such goods satisfy all other applicable provisions of this note.

Based on the facts provided, the goods described above may qualify for NAFTA preferential treatment, because they will meet the requirements of HTSUS General Note 12(b)(ii)(A). The goods will be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements, including Regional Value Content requirements specified in General Note 12(t)(39.10). This note requires a Regional Value Content of not less than 60 percent where the transaction value method is used, or 50 percent where the net cost method is used.

This ruling letter has not addressed the Regional Value Content (RVC) of the subject goods. If you desire a ruling regarding the RVC of your goods and their eligibility for NAFTA preferential treatment, provide the information noted in Section 181.93(b) of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 181.93(b)), to the Director, International Trade Compliance Division, Headquarters, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., (Mint Annex), Washington, D.C. 20229, along with a copy of this letter. That information should include the countries of origin of all the raw materials, including the origin of the plastic resin and the precursor materials of the resin. It should also include a description of each manufacturing process performed and the location where each process was performed.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181).

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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