Mr. Jason Chan and Ms. Geraldine Tan
Amica Law, LLC
30 Raffles Place
#18-03/04 Caltex House
Singapore 048622

RE: The tariff classification and status under the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SFTA), of polyethylene retail carrier bags from Singapore.

Dear Mr. Chan and Ms. Tan:

In your letter dated March 5, 2007, on behalf of Kingbag Enterprises, Singapore, you requested a ruling on the status of polyethylene retail carrier bags from Singapore under the SFTA.

The imported product is polyethylene retail carrier bags for use in supermarkets and retail stores. A sample of the lay flat tubing from which the bags are made was included with your letter. There are four main stages in the production of the bags. First, the raw materials (mainly polyethylene in resin form) are purchased from Singapore suppliers or suppliers outside Singapore. Second, the raw materials are sent to Malaysia where they are extruded into continuous lengths of seamless lay flat tubing. Third, rolls of the tubing are sent back to Singapore for the remaining processes of cutting, heat sealing and punching holes in the bags to form handles. Fourth, the bags are then packed and made ready for export.

The applicable tariff provision for the polyethylene retail carrier bags will be 3923.21.0085, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics…sacks and bags (including cones): of polymer 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 25(b), HTSUS, sets forth the criteria for determining whether a good is originating under the SFTA. General Note 25(b), HTSUS, (19 U.S.C. § 1202) states, in pertinent part, that

For the purposes of this note, subject to the provisions of subdivisions (c), (d), (n) and (o) thereof, goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for treatment as originating goods of a SFTA country under the terms of this note only if they–

(i) were wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Singapore or of the United States, or both;

(ii) are goods that, in their condition as imported, are enumerated in subdivision (m) of this note and imported from the territory of Singapore; or

(iii) have been transformed in the territory of Singapore or of the United States, or both, so that each nonoriginating material:

(A) undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in subdivision (o) of this note as a result of production occurring entirely in the territory of Singapore or of the United States, or both; or

(B) if no change in tariff classification is required, the good otherwise satisfies the applicable requirements set forth in such subdivision (o).

Based on the facts provided, the goods described above qualify for SFTA preferential treatment, because they will meet the tariff shift requirements of HTSUS General Note 25(b)(iii)(A), subdivision (o)/39.9. The goods will therefore be entitled to a free rate of duty under the SFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

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

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 646-733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity
Specialist Division