Mr. Lowell Fishman
P.O. Box 568
Mattapoisett, MA 02739-0568
RE: The tariff classification of printed plastic cards and advertising from the Netherlands.
Dear Mr. Fishman:
In your letter dated November 23, 1993, you requested a tariff classification ruling. Samples were submitted and will be retained for reference.
The first sample, identified as Exhibit "A", or "PINcard," is a semi-transparent plastic card, about the size and shape of a credit card. It is printed with columns of what appear to be randomly selected single-digit numbers, with alpha-numeric coordinates along the top and left side. You indicate that the minimal version of the product consists of this card alone, but it may be accompanied by an instruction sheet, a paper storage envelope, and/or small, self-adhesive paper labels printed with blank grids. The product is designed to allow the user to easily recall his or her credit/ debit card "personal identification numbers" (PIN's), by following a certain procedure.
The applicable subheading for the "PINcard," with or without accompaniments, will be 4911.99.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other (non-enumerated) printed matter. The rate of duty will be 4.9%.
The second sample, identified as Exhibit "E", or "SandwichCard," consists of two opaque plastic cards (2 1/8" x 3 3/8") which serve as covers for a fold-out paper advertisement/instruction sheet attached between them. One side of the paper is printed entirely with an advertisement for an airline (whose logo also appears on the plastic covers). The other side is printed mostly with instructions for using a "PINcard," together with some peel-off paper labels included for use with same. You indicate that the minimal version of the product will be this "sandwich" alone, but that it might be accompanied by a "PINcard," which would be attached to it by a light cement, for removal by the user.
The applicable subheading for the "SandwichCard," with or without attached "PINcard," will be 4911.10.0080, which provides for other (than certain enumerated) printed trade advertising material. The rate of duty will be free.
Although the submitted samples are not printed with their country of origin, you propose certain marking and ask whether it would be acceptable. Specifically, you plan to place the word "Netherlands" in the lower right corner of the "PINcard," but the instruction sheet, envelope and labels would remain unmarked, "since they would never be sold or distributed separately." With respect to the "SandwichCard," you contemplate having the fold-out paper sheet marked "Netherlands."
Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to offer a firm opinion on this question without seeing marked samples of the products in the same condition (and immediate packaging) in which they would be imported and distributed. However, by way of general information we note that "Netherlands" is acceptable as the English name of the country of origin, and that it would have to be legible and in a conspicuous place.
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