Mr. Dave Geoffroy
Avon Marine, Inc.
1851 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92714
RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of rigid inflatable boats from Mexico; Article 509
Dear Mr. Geoffroy:
In your letter dated March 14, 1996 you requested a ruling on the status of rigid inflatable boats from Mexico under the NAFTA. You also included descriptive literature with your request.
Your request involves 3 models of rigid inflatable boats (R.I.B.), identified as the 2.81, the 3.11 and the 3.41. The numbers represent the length of each model in meters. These R.I.B.'s accommodate 3, 4 and 5 persons, respectively. Each model has a rigid "V" hull, transom and anti-skid deck, all made of fiberglass. The hull is made in Mexico and is assembled there will hypalon buoyancy tubes made in England to form the complete R.I.B. All 3 models are valued over $500.00 and will be used in recreational boating.
The applicable tariff provision for these rigid inflatable boats will be 8903.10.0015, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for inflatable pleasure craft valued over $500.00 with attached rigid hull. The general rate of duty will be 2.4 percent ad valorem.
As for the status of these boats under the NAFTA, the non-originating materials used to make the R.I.B.'s, in this case, the hypalon buoyancy tubes, have satisfied the necessary change in tariff classification required under General Note 12(t)/89.2, HTSUSA. At the same time and in accordance with the foregoing rule, these R.I.B.'s will also be subject to a Regional Value Content (RVC) requirement of 60% under the Transaction Value Method or 50% under the Net Cost Method. Assuming the goods are eligible for preferential treatment under the NAFTA following an analysis of the RVC requirement, the merchandise will be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements. However, because
of insufficient information in your ruling request, Customs has not addressed the Regional Value Content (RVC) of the subject goods. If you desire a ruling regarding the RVC status of your goods and their eligibility for NAFTA preferential treatment, the information noted in Section 181.93(b) of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 181.93(b)), to the Director, Commercial Rulings Division, Headquarters, U.S. Customs Service, 1301 Constitution Ave. N.W., Franklin Court, Washington, D.C. 20229, along with a copy of this letter.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181).
This ruling letter is binding only as to the party to whom it is issued and may be relied on only by that party.
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 J. Wholey at 212-466-5668.
Roger J. Silvestri