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NY N015486

September 5, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 8442.30.0150

Ms. Kathleen Maloney
6974 Clarksville Pike
Joelton, TN 37080

RE: The tariff classification of digital plate-making equipment

Dear Ms. Maloney:

In your letter received August 9, 2007, on behalf of Esko Graphics, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise in question is several models of digital computer-to-plate imaging equipment. These digital imagers process flexo photopolymer digital plates for printing through the use of lasers. The plates consist of a rubber/photopolymer substrate with a black carbon mask material. The thickness of the plate will vary depending on the final print application. The plate is mounted onto a vacuum drum inside the imager and held onto the drum by a combination of vacuum and mechanical clamping. Multiple high-power laser beams hit the plate surface as the drum is spinning and the laser head is moving sideways. The laser receives information from a computer source which stores the image data. The laser beams remove the black carbon mask material in conformity with the computer’s instructions. The result is a soft rubber plate with a black/white image. Hardening and final processing of the plate for printing purposes is completed on non-Esko equipment.

The applicable subheading for the computer-to-plate digital imagers will be 8442.30.0150, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for machinery, apparatus and equipment for preparing or making plates; other. 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/.

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 Patrick Wholey at 646-733-3013.


Robert B. Swierupski

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