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NY M87544

November 17, 2006

CLA-2-46:RR:NC:2:230 M87544


TARIFF NO.: 4602.10.8000

Ms. Yolanda S. Massey
Michaels Stores Procurement Company, Inc. 8000 Bent Branch Drive
Irving, TX 75063

RE: The tariff classification of decorative fruit covered with natural maize leaves from China

Dear Ms. Massey:

In your letter dated October 16, 2006 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The ruling was requested on a bag of decorative apples and pears covered with lacquered natural leaves. A sample of the product was submitted. The sample consists of a mesh bag containing seven artificial apples and pears. The assorted fruits are composed of Styrofoam and covered with natural maize (Zea Mays) leaves. The leaves are dyed various colors and finished with a light coat of lacquer.

The tariff treatment relating to the classification of decorative Styrofoam articles covered with natural materials was revoked or modified in various rulings published on October 25, 2006, in Volume 40, Number 44, of the Customs Bulletin. The essential character of these articles was determined to be imparted by the material covering the outer surface.

One of the published rulings, Headquarters Ruling 968065 dated October 5, 2006, concerned the classification of Styrofoam garlic bulbs covered with corn stalk or leaf material. This merchandise was classified in subheading 4602.10.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as an article of plaiting material. Similarly, the subject apples and pears covered with natural maize leaves are classifiable in subheading 4602.10.8000, HTSUS, rather than in subheading 1404.90.0000, HTSUS, as you suggested. Maize leaves are suitable for plaiting, and articles made of maize leaves are more specifically provided for as articles of plaiting material.

The applicable subheading for the Styrofoam apples and pears covered with natural maize leaves will be 4602.10.8000, HTSUS, which provides for other articles, made up from plaiting materials, of other vegetable materials, other than wickerwork. The rate of duty will be 2.3 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/.

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise description as identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

This ruling is being issued under the assumption that the subject goods, in their condition as imported into the United States, conform to the facts and the description as set forth both in the ruling request and in this ruling. In the event that the facts or merchandise are modified in any way, you should bring this to the attention of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and you should resubmit for a new ruling in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2. You should also be aware that the material facts described in the foregoing ruling may be subject to periodic verification by the CBP.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

Pursuant to title 19 United States Code, Section 3005 The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States is expected to be amended effective 1/1/07. The amendments are expected to affect the classification of your merchandise. Pursuant to Section 3005 c, the report recommending those changes has been sent to the President for proclamation of the changes. Upon the expiration of sixty legislative days, in the absence of Congressional action, the recommended changes will become law. Accordingly based on that recommendation, it is anticipated that your merchandise will be classified in 4602.19.80 under the 2007 Harmonized Tariff Schedule. Under the circumstances, this classification under the 2007 tariff is advisory only.

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 Paul Garretto at 646-733-3035.


Robert B. Swierupski

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