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NY R01626

March 30, 2005

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:110 R01626


TARIFF NO.: 8473.30.5000

Ms. Tricia Reynolds
NNR Global Logistics USA Inc.
610 Airport South Pkwy., Ste. 300
Atlanta, GA 30349

RE: The tariff classification of an ink ribbon/paper set from Japan.

Dear Ms. Reynolds:

In your letter dated March 16, 2005, on behalf of your client DNP IMS America you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration is the 5-Color Ink Ribbon/Paper Set designated “Mexapixel II i-media” printed on the exterior of the box. This product is imported packaged ready for retail sale with a 5-color ink thermal transfer ribbon and a paper roll used for replenishing the Mexapixel III printer. The Mexapixel III is a Dye Sublimation high quality printer used for producing rich photo quality prints. The Mexapixel III connects to a host computer (PC) and has a legitimate use with automatic data processing (ADP) machines. It appears to meet the requirements of Chapter 84, Note 5(D) and 5(B)(b) and (c). This printer is designed for use in minimum space applications (KIOSK, etc.).

Dye Sublimation printing is a thermal transfer printing process. Adopting dye sublimation printing is a method in which a line thermal print head is used to print images using a thermal transfer ribbon with individual colors and a clear overcoat. Each color and overcoat is equal in size. The ink ribbon comes mounted on two plastic spools, one each for ribbon supply and ribbon receiving. Both spools feature gears and flanges designed specifically for use with the Mexapixel III printer. The receiving spool contains a RFID (Radio Frequency/IDentification) tag on its flange. This tag communicates with the RF (Radio Frequency) reader in the printer to identify the correct media for printing. The tag detector performs color offset of media lot, detects media type, manages print counter and communicates between the printer and the host PC. The paper has a special dye receiving layer coating and comes in the form of a continuous roll, which is designed specifically for use with the Mexapixel III printer. The paper roll fits directly onto the roll holder assembly axle of the printer before it is inserted into the machine. The ink and paper must be used together because of the special dye receiving layer coating on the surface to accept the ink.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) of the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) governs the classification of goods put up in sets for retail sale. GRI 3(b) provides, in relevant part, that goods put up for retail sale shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. The Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the HTS provide guidance in the interpretation of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System at the international level. According to the ENs for GRI 3(b), “goods put up in sets for retail sale” refers to goods which: consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings; consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repackaging.

The 5-Color Ink Ribbon/Paper Set meets the definition of “goods put up in sets for retail sale.” As per GRI 3(b), classification is determined by the component, or components taken together, which confer on the set as a whole its essential character. The thermal transfer ribbon clearly provides the essential character of this set.

The applicable subheading for the 5-Color Ink Ribbon/Paper Set will be 8473.30.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Parts and accessoriesmachines of headings 8469 to 8472: Parts and accessories of the machines of heading 8471: Not incorporating a cathode ray tube: Other.” The general rate of duty will be free.

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 Eileen S. Kaplan at 646-733-3016.


Robert B. Swierupski

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