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NY M84946

July 17, 2006

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:N3:351 M84946


TARIFF NO.: 6305.39.0000, 6307.90.9889

Elizabeth A. Burns
Corporate Trade Compliance Manager
Bemis Company, Inc.
1 Neenah Center, 4th Floor
134 E Wisconsin
Neenah, WI 54956

RE: The tariff classification of medical pouches and tubing from Northern Ireland or Malaysia

Dear Ms. Burns:

In your letter dated June 21, 2006, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted samples are pouches that, you state, are used in the medical field for the packaging and sterilization of medical instruments. They are identified by product code numbers 201489w (Reorder# 98-54828), which measures approximately 10½” x 5” and 201539w (Reorder# 98-55815), which measures approximately 23½” x 6”. One side of each of the products is made of Tyvek, a non-woven textile fabric, and the other side is made of clear plastic film.

Product code 201489w is a pouch with the Tyvek side heat-sealed to the clear film along the edges and bottom, with a self-seal adhesive strip on the open end. Product 201539w is tubing, sold in rolls and heat sealed along the two outside edges; the ends do not seal, so it is not considered a bag. The Tyvek side on both products may be printed or unprinted.

The applicable subheading for the self-seal medical pouches, code 201489w, will be 6305.39.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for sacks and bags, of a kind used for the packing of goods: of man-made textile materials: other. The rate of duty will be 8.4% ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the tubing, code 201539w, will be 6307.90.9889, HTSUS, which provides for other made up textile articles, other. The rate of duty will be 7% ad valorem.

You suggest that the correct classification for this merchandise is in chapter 39, HTSUS, because the plastic provides the most specific description; you cite General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(a), HTSUS. However, GRI 2(b) states that if a product is a mixture or combination of materials or substance that are, prima facie, classifiable in two or more headings, then GRI 3 applies. Note that there is no mention of one heading being more specific.

GRI 3(a) explains that goods that are classifiable under two or more headings are classified under the heading that provides the most specific description of the good. However, all such headings are regarded as equally specific when each refers to only part of the goods. Each of the possible headings in this case, whether in chapter 39 or 63, refer to only part of the good, the plastic or the textile. Since the headings are regarded as equally specific, we do not classify the article by GRI 3(a) but rather by GRI 3(b) or (c).

GRI 3(b) provides that articles made up of different components shall be classified as if they consisted of the component that gives them their essential character. It is our opinion that neither component of the article imparts essential character.

GRI 3(c) explains that goods that cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b) are classified under the heading that occurs last in numerical order among those that equally merit consideration. The competing headings here are in chapter 39, for the plastic sheeting, and in chapter 63, for the textile. Both headings 6305 and 6307 appear after chapter 39.

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/.

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 Mitchel Bayer at 646-733-3102.


Robert B. Swierupski

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