Mr. Kenneth M. Carmon
President, Bay Brokerage, Inc.
44951 County Route 191, Suite 201
Wellesley Island, New York 13640

RE: The tariff classification of and country of origin marking requirement for printed paper or paperboard postcards, from Canada

Dear Mr. Carmon:

In your letter dated January 15, 2007, on behalf of your client, VistaPrint Limited, of Hamilton, Bermuda, you requested a tariff classification ruling for the referenced products, and a ruling to the effect that the cards, products of Canada, need not be marked to indicate their country of origin. Samples were submitted, which will be retained.

The transaction by which these cards are produced and exported to the United States is described as follows: VistaPrint plans to provide a direct mail marketing service for its customers. To use this service, a customer will order custom-designed advertising postcards (in large or small format: 8 ½” x 5 ½”, or 5” x 4”) and provide a mailing list of prospective clients. VistaPrint would then arrange to have the postcards printed at a printing facility in Windsor, Ontario; have the postcards addressed to the customer’s prospective clients using the customer’s mailing list; have appropriate postage indicia (numerical postal permit number) printed on the postcards; have the postcards transported by truck from Canada to the United States using a common carrier; and have the cards delivered to a mail consolidator for sorting and transport to regional U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”) facilities for mailing to their final addressees in the United States.

Your stated position as to the tariff classification of these cards is that they should be classified in subheading 4909.00.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as “printed or illustrated postcards”. Of course the articles are described by this language. However, they are also described by the language of heading 4907, as “stamp-impressed paper”. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized System, which are deemed instructive as to the interpretation of the language of the System, state that “such postcards (printed with advertising matter, etc.) if printed or embossed with postage stamps” are excluded from heading 4909, and the Note directs the user to heading 4907. The postcards of your request are printed with postal indicia, which is equivalent to “printed …with postage stamps”, in our view.

The applicable subheading for the postcards described will be 4907.00.0000, (HTSUS), which provides for: Stamp impressed paper. The rate of duty will be Free.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at

Your stated position as to country of origin marking of the postcards is that they are not required to be individually marked to indicate their country of origin. We agree. You cite, appropriately, 19 C.F.R. 134.32(f), and 19 C.F.R.134.1(d).

In addition, you argue that the containers of these postcards also are excepted from marking requirements. Again, we agree. 19 C.F.R. 134.22 (e) provides for exceptions from normal container marking requirements for containers or holders of articles themselves excepted pursuant to 19 C.F.R. 134.32(f), as is the case here.

Accordingly, the subject postcards are not required to be marked to indicate their country of origin, and the outermost container in which the postcards reach the consolidator (agent of the ultimate purchaser) is also excepted from country of origin marking requirements.

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 Carl Abramowitz at 646-733-3037.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity
Specialist Division