Ms. Lisa M. Thomas
Trans American CHB, Inc.
Buffalo, NY 14223
RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of polyethylene retail carrier bags from Canada; Article 509
Dear Ms. Thomas:
In your letter dated June 8, 2005, on behalf of Gunther Mele Limited, Ontario, Canada, you requested a ruling on the status of polyethylene retail carrier bags from Canada under the NAFTA.
The bags are made from rolls of polyethylene film imported in folded, U-film form from China. In Canada, the roll material is processed through a bag-making machine. The sides are sealed, the customer’s logo is hot-stamped with foil and a handle is die cut. You state that the foil will originate in either the United States or Canada.
The applicable tariff provision for the polyethylene retail carrier bags will be 3923.21.0085, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUS), which provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods; of plastics: sacks and bags: of polymers of ethylene…other: polyethylene retail carrier bags (PRCBs) with handles (including drawstrings), with no length or width shorter than 6 inches (152.4 mm) or longer than 40 inches (1,016 mm). The general rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.
General Note 12(b), HTSUS, sets forth the criteria for determining whether a good is originating under the NAFTA. General Note 12(b), HTSUS, (19 U.S.C. § 1202) states, in pertinent part, that
For the purposes of this note, goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for the tariff treatment and quantitative limitations set forth in the tariff schedule as "goods originating in the territory of a NAFTA party" only if--
(i) they are goods wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States; or
(ii) they have been transformed in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States so that--
(A) except as provided in subdivision (f) of this note, each of the non-originating materials used in the production of such goods undergoes a change in tariff classification described in subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) of this note or the rules set forth therein, or
(B) the goods otherwise satisfy the applicable requirements of subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) where no change in tariff classification is required, and the goods satisfy all other requirements of this note; or
(iii) they are goods produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States exclusively from originating materials; or
(iv) they are produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States but one or more of the nonoriginating materials falling under provisions for "parts" and used in the production of such goods does not undergo a change in tariff classification because--
(A) the goods were imported into the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States in unassembled or disassembled form but were classified as assembled goods pursuant to general rule of interpretation 2(a), or
(B) the tariff headings for such goods provide for and specifically describe both the goods themselves and their parts and is not further divided into subheadings, or the subheadings for such goods provide for and specifically describe both the goods themselves and their parts,
provided that such goods do not fall under chapters 61 through 63, inclusive, of the tariff schedule, and provided further that the regional value content of such goods, determined in accordance with subdivision (c) of this note, is not less than 60 percent where the transaction value method is used, or is not less than 50 percent where the net cost method is used, and such goods satisfy all other applicable provisions of this note.
Based on the facts provided, the goods described above qualify for NAFTA preferential treatment, because they will meet the requirements of HTSUSA General Note 12(b)(ii)(A). The goods will therefore be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements, including Regional Value Content requirements specified in General Note 12(t)(39.7).
This ruling letter has not addressed the Regional Value Content (RVC) of the subject goods. If you desire a ruling regarding the RVC of your goods and their eligibility for NAFTA preferential treatment, provide the information noted in Section 181.93(b) of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 181.93(b)), to the Director, International Trade Compliance Division, Headquarters, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., (Mint Annex), Washington, D.C. 20229, along with a copy of this letter. That information should include documentation supporting your claims regarding the cost of the hot-stamping foil and the cost for the set up and other labor charges to work the machine.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181).
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 646-733-3023.
Robert B. Swierupski