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NY N016199

September 11, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 7118.90.0055

Margaret Polito
Neville Peterson LLP
17 State Street-19th Floor
New York, New York 10004

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of silver commemorative coins.

Dear Ms. Polito:

In your letter dated August 21, 2007, on behalf of National Collector’s Mint, you requested a tariff classification and country of origin marking ruling. Representative samples of the subject merchandise were submitted with your request and are being returned to you.

The products in question are silver commemorative coins which will be sold to the ultimate purchaser in either plastic capsules or polybags and shipped in additional outer packaging. You state that both coins are recognized as legal tender in the countries named on each of them.

The first coin is struck on the front with a picture of the “Crown Jewels” in the center of which is set a tiny red stone. It is emblazoned on the back with the words “Republic of Sierra Leone”, as well with a picture of this country’s seal. Produced in the United Kingdom from sterling silver, this coin is worth 10 dollars in Sierra Leone.

The second silver coin, valued at one dollar in Tuvula, is produced in Australia. The front of this coin depicts Queen Elizabeth II and is struck with the word “Tuvula”. On the reverse is a colorized picture of the USS Missouri.

The applicable subheading for the silver coins will be 7118.90.0055, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for coin, other, 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/.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article, at the time of importation into the Customs territory of the United States. Containers of articles excepted from marking shall be marked with the name of the country of origin of the article unless the container is also excepted from marking.

It is your contention that the subject merchandise is not an article within the meaning of this statute and therefore not affected by this regulation. You cite HQ Ruling 710855, dated 7/07/79, in support of this claim.

HQ ruling 710855 ruled upon the country of origin marking requirements of travelers checks printed in Canada. This determination was based upon the finding that traveler’s checks, coins, and other currency are to be viewed as intangibles, or instruments of commerce, and not considered articles within the purview of Section 1304. Therefore, they were exempted from all country of origin marking. Based on this decision, you assert that the same logic applies to the subject coins. This office does not agree.

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States makes no mention of the term intangibles. The only definition comes from the former Tariff Schedule of the United States (TSUS), specifically General Headnote 5(b) which provided for currency (metal or paper) in current circulation in any country and imported for monetary purposes.

In accordance with HQ 079348, dated December 29, 1986, “The only legitimate allowance available under 5(b) is for coins issued by governments for use as legal tender, that are imported for monetary use, that is not for resale, collecting, or for their precious metal content, and that are currently used as money.” Therefore, having been designated as legal tender does not mean automatic recognition as an intangible of General Headingnote 5(b)(TSUS).

Since these coins are presented to their buyers in such a way as to showcase there beauty or protect them from harm, it is evident that these pieces are clearly being marketed as collectors items and are not being imported for monetary use. Although you state that both of these coins are regarded as legal tender, they do not meet the monetary use requirement of an intangible, nor the dictates of Additional U.S. Note 2, and therefore, cannot be considered something other than an article for the purposes of 19 USC 1304. Consequently, each of the sample coins should be marked accordingly.

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 Gloria Stingone at 646-733-3020.


Robert B. Swierupski

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