CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 E88805

Mr. Fabian Steinger
American Trading Company, Inc.
123 Naylon Avenue
Livingston, NJ 07039

RE: The tariff classification of preforms from Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.

Dear Mr. Steinger:

In your undated letter, which was received in this office on October 18, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Samples of various preforms made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) were included with your letter. The preforms are of the type used in the manufacture of packaging bottles. You request classification in subheading 3915.90.0010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, which provides for waste, parings and scrap of plastics. The Explanatory Notes to this heading state that the provision applies to broken or worn articles of plastics, clearly not usable for their original purposes, and to manufacturing waste. The samples included with your letter include one preform which is broken and burned, and is clearly not suitable for its intended use. There is no evidence that any of the other samples are not suitable for their intended use as preforms for the manufacture of bottles, regardless of how they actually will be used.

The applicable subheading for preforms which clearly are not usable for manufacture into bottles because they are either broken or burnt will be 3915.90.0010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for waste, parings and scrap, of plastics: of other plastics…of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics. The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for preforms which are suitable for use in the manufacture of bottles, even though they may not be used in such manner, will be 3923.30.0090, HTS, which provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics…carboys, bottles, flasks and similar articles…other. The rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.

General Note 5, HTS, provides that whenever goods subject to different rates of duty are so packed together or mingled that the quantity or value of each class of goods cannot be readily ascertained by Customs officers (without physical segregation of the shipment or the contents of any entire package thereof), by sampling, verification of packing lists or other documents filed at the time of entry, or evidence showing performance of commercial settlement tests generally accepted in the trade and filed in such time and manner as may be prescribed by regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury, the commingled goods shall be subject to the highest rate of duty applicable to any part thereof unless the consignee or his agent segregates the goods. Consequently, if the imported merchandise consists of waste and scrap preforms commingled with preforms which are suitable for their intended use, the commingled goods are subject to classification in subheading 3923.30.0090, HTS, unless the consignee or his agent segregates the goods.

Articles classifiable under subheading 3923.30.0090, HTS, which are products of Chile, Argentina or Uruguay, may be entitled to duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) upon compliance with all applicable regulations. The GSP is subject to modification and periodic suspension, which may affect the status of your transaction at the time of entry for consumption or withdrawal from warehouse. To obtain current information on GSP, check the Customs Web site at At the Web site, click on "CEBB" then search for the term "GSP".

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 Joan Mazzola at 212-637-7034.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity
Specialist Division