NY 862325
Jun 11 1991

CLA-2-68:S:N:N1:236 862325

Mr. Lewis Stein
Johnson & Johnson
one Johnson & Johnson Plaza
New Brunswick, N.J. 08933-7002

RE: The tariff classification of Sanitary Napkins from Canada

Dear Mr. Stein:

In your letter dated April 8, 1991 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The prospective import, Sanitary Napkins is a composite article consisting of many layers including polyester fibers, pulp fibers, and a brown multi-ply sheet or board, composed of more than 80 percent sphagnum moss, less than 10 percent chemical bleached pulp fibers, and less than 10 percent synthetic plastic fibers. It is the flexibility and excellent absorption ability of this board that permits the sanitary napkin to function. While the exact composition of the board may vary depending upon the type of product in which it will be used, the peat moss will always comprise in excess of 80 percent of its composition, and the polyester fibers will be less than 10 percent of its composition.

In your letter, you suggested classification under HTS 4818.40.20, which provides for, among other things, sanitary napkins of paper pulp. For tariff purposes, paper pulp generally must consist of fibrous vegetable material. We find that the absorbent portion of the instant article consists essentially of a non-fibrous, multi-cellular plant material, i.e., sphagnum moss, that cannot be considered paper pulp.

Mixtures and composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. (General Rules of Interpretation 3(b)) In our opinion, the multi-ply sheet or board composed of more than 80 percent peat moss which permits the sanitary napkin to function is the material which gives the sanitary napkin its essential character.

The applicable subheading for the Sanitary Napkins will be 6815.20.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for articles of peat (including peat moss). The duty rate will be free. 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
Area Director
New York Seaport