United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2007 NY Rulings > NY N008873 - NY N008940 > NY N008939

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY N008939

April 16, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 8479.89.9897

Ms. Sherry Thompson
Harry F. Long Inc.
2900 Lone Oak Parkway #125
Eagan, MN 55121

RE: The tariff classification of a used dunnage bag making machine of unknown origin

Dear Ms. Thompson:

In your letter dated March 27, 2007 on behalf of Superior Packaging Co. you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The unit in question is one machine used in a dunnage bag manufacturing line. It performs the initial steps in the manufacture of dunnage bags. Sheets of kraft paper are unwound and aligned. A layer of polyethylene is inserted to act as an inner lining. The material ratio is generally two layers of kraft paper to one of polyethylene. The edges of the kraft paper are then folded and glued. The unfinished dunnage bag then moves downstream for further processing. Subsequent operations performed on the unfinished dunnage bag are as follows: (1) a rotary cutter cuts the material to its appropriate length, (2) a hole is punched in the material to facilitate the placement of an air valve, (3) the valve is heat sealed to polyethylene liner to form an airtight seal, (4) the polyethylene is heat sealed at both ends by an electrically operated heat sealer and (5) the end of the bag (paper part) is sewn together to hold the polyethylene in place. The machine in question only performs the preliminary manufacturing steps, i.e., unwinding, folding and glueing. It does not heat seal or cut. While the machine is to be imported from Australia, you indicate that it is a used machine of unknown origin.

You suggest that the machine be classified in subheading 8441.20.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Other machinery for making up paper pulp, paper or paperboard, including cutting machines of all kinds, and parts thereof: Machines for making bags, sacks or envelopes. A dunnage “bag” is not a bag in the conventional sense of the word “bag”. It is not designed as a container to hold, pack or store a product. Rather, an inflatable dunnage air bag is used as a blocking/bracing tool. These bags restrain the movement of cargo by filling voids. In NY ruling NY C80550 dated October 24, 1997, it was determined that the plastic component gave the dunnage bag its essential character. Thus, the dunnage bags themselves were classified in subheading 3926.90.7500, HTSUS, which provides for other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: Other: Pneumatic mattresses and other inflatable articles, not elsewhere specified or included.

It should be noted that the Explanatory Notes to heading 8441 do state that some of the machines described in heading 8441 such as a bagmaking machine may also be suitable for use in making up certain plastics or thin sheet metal. Such machines remain in heading 8441 provided they are of a type normally used for making up paper or paperboard. However, as indicated in a telephone conversation with a member of my staff, this machine has been purpose-built to make dunnage bags, not paper bags. In this case, paper and plastic are used in the manufacture of the dunnage bags. None of the articles listed in the ENs to heading 8441, HTSUS, are comparable to the dunnage bags.

As dunnage bags are classified by CBP as plastic inflatable articles, this office also considered the applicability of heading 8477, HTSUS, which provides for machinery for working rubber or plastics or for the manufacture of products from these materials, not specified or included elsewhere in chapter 84. However, as stated in HQ 957161 dated April 24, 1995, “There is no principal in the HTSUS which states that the classification of the end product determines the classification of the machine which produces the product.” In this case, kraft paper and polyethylene materials are used in the manufacture of the dunnage bags. It is this office’s opinion that the inclusion of the kraft paper excludes the machines from classification in heading 8477, HTSUS. The machine is capable of working on two materials, paper and plastic. There is no evidence that the machine is used principally with any one material.

The applicable subheading for the used dunnage bag making machine will be 8479.89.9897, HTSUS, which provides for machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere (in chapter 84): other machines and mechanical appliances: other: other: other: other. The rate of duty will depend on the country of origin. For informational purposes, the general rate of duty is 2.5 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/.

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 Patricia O’Donnell at 646-733-3011.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: