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HQ 555328

May 2, 1989

CLA-2-CO:R:C 555328 RA


TARIFF NO.: 9802.00.80, HTSUS

Mr. John W. Cain
Cain Customs Brokers Inc.
P.O. Box 150
Hildago, Texas 78557

RE: Applicability of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, to certain roller assemblies from Mexico

Dear Mr. Cain:

This is in response to your letter of March 10, 1989, on behalf of the Whirlpool Corporation of McAllen, Texas, regarding the applicability of subheading 9802.00.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), to certain roller assemblies to be imported from Mexico for attachment to domestic refrigerator/freezers. Because the assemblies, in their condition as imported, will not be sold to the ultimate purchasers of the refrigerators, you also ask whether the assemblies will be excepted from country of origin marking requirements. Although not stated in your ruling request, we are assuming that the roller assemblies will be assembled from components of U.S. origin.


Two types of rollers are involved in the assembly operations -- a front roller, which has a screw that allows the refrigerator to be leveled, and a rear roller. The first assembly step consists of placing a roller inside a bracket with the holes in each properly aligned. A rivet axle is then inserted into the aligned holes and a rivet machine or manual press is used to cold form the rivet in place, which completes assembly of the rear roller assembly. The front roller assembly is made by following the same steps to form a roller assembly which is placed inside a levelling bracket with the holes in each properly aligned. A rivet axle is then inserted into the holes and cold formed into place by a manual press or rivet machine. An adjusting screw is driven into the levelling bracket with a screw driver which completes the front roller assembly. The completed assemblies are imported by the manufacturer for attachment to the refrigerators before sale to the dealers.


I. Can an allowance in duty under the provisions of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, be made for the cost or value of the components of U.S. origin incorporated in the assembled roller assemblies?

II. Will the assemblies be excepted from country of origin marking requirements?


Subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, provides for articles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components of U.S. origin with no operations performed thereon except the attachment of the components to form the imported merchandise and operations incidental thereto. Duty is assessed on the appraised value of the imported article less the cost or value of the fabricated components of U.S. origin.

The joining of the roller and bracket by riveting, the attachment of the roller assembly and levelling bracket by means of a rivet, and the insertion of an adjusting screw into the levelling bracket are all acceptable assembly operations for purposes of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS. See section 10.16(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(a)). Therefore, allowances in duty may be made under this tariff provision for the cost or value of the components of U.S. origin incorporated in the imported roller assemblies.

With respect to the country of origin marking issue, section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), requires, with certain exceptions, that every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit in such manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the name of the country of origin of the article.

Section 134.35, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.35), provides that where an imported article is used in the U.S. in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character, or use differing from that of the imported article, the U.S. manufacturer will be considered the "ultimate purchaser" of the imported article within the contemplation of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Under these circumstances, the imported article shall be excepted from marking requirements, although the outermost container of the article must be properly marked. Section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), provides that an imported article
is excepted from marking requirements if the marking of the container will reasonably indicate the origin of the article.

In this case, we find that the importer is the "ultimate purchaser" of the imported roller assemblies that will be utilized by the importer in the manufacture of refrigerators. Therefore, these assemblies will be excepted from marking requirements under 19 CFR 134.35 and 134.32(d), provided the outermost containers of the assemblies are properly marked. The containers should be marked either "Product of Mexico" or "Assembled in Mexico of U.S. Components" pursuant to section 10.22, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.22).


Roller assemblies made by joining U.S.-made components by riveting or screwing are entitled to tariff treatment under the provisions of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, upon compliance with sections 10.16 to 10.24, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16 to 10.24). Moreover, they will be excepted from country of origin marking under 19 CFR 134.35 and 134.32(d), provided the outermost containers of the assembled articles are properly marked.


John Durant, Director

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