Mr. Ralph Saunders
A.N. Deringer, Inc.
173 West Service Road
Champlain, NY 12919
RE: The tariff classification of commingled buttons from Brazil.
Dear Mr. Saunders:
In your letter dated January 23, 1995, on behalf of Buttoncraft, Inc., you requested a classification ruling.
In an attached letter, Buttoncraft states that they intend to ship a bag of assorted buttons to the United States. The bag of buttons contains mixed colors, sizes and materials (plastic, acrylic, polyester and metal.) We assume that the metal is base metal. Each bag will weight one half pound.
The submitted sample is in a clear plastic bag with a retail header and a UPC code. Both sides of the header state Buttoncraft Inc,. Montreal, Quebec H2T 3B2 . There is also a sticker on one side of the header stating that the buttons are made in Brazil and packed in Canada. We presume that the imported merchandise will be properly marked with country of origin on both sides of the header in lettering at least as large as the words "Montreal, Quebec."
The mixed buttons will be packaged and labeled in Canada and sold to craft and chain stores as "assorted 1/2 pound craft buttons." There are no textile covered buttons in your sample. We presume that this is so for the merchandise to be imported. Your sample is herewith returned.
The shipment of mixed buttons shall be classified pursuant to the terms of General Note 5, HTSUSA.
The applicable subheading for the commingled buttons will be 9606.21.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for buttons of plastics, not covered with textile material, of acrylic resin, of polyester resin or of both such resins. The duty rate will be 0.4 cents/line/gross plus 6 percent ad valorem.
This is the highest rate of duty applicable to any of these buttons. You will have to furnish the highest "line" (as defined in Chapter 96, additional U.S. Note 1) of the buttons in this assortment, in order to determine the duty applicable for this merchandise. Enclosed is a chart showing how duty is calculated on gross lines.
General Note 5, HTSUSA subparagraph (d) states, however that:
The foregoing provisions of this note do not apply with respect to any shipment if the consignee or his agent shall furnish, in such time and manner as may be prescribed by regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury, satisfactory proof...
(i) that the value of the commingled goods is less than the aggregated value would be if the shipment were segregated.
(ii) that the shipment is not capable of segregation without excessive cost and will not be segregated prior to its use in a manufacturing process or otherwise.
(iii) that the commingling was not intended to avoid the payment of lawful duties.
any goods with respect to which such proof is furnished shall be considered for all customs purposes to be dutiable at the rate applicable to the material present in greater quantity than any other material.
Thus, if the goods cannot practically be segregated, and the value of the commingled goods is less than the value for the component materials segregated, the importer may elect the rate of duty applicable for the material of greatest quantity (if that can be ascertained).
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.
Jean F. Maguire
New York Seaport