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NY 858656

Jan. 07, 1991

CLA-2-95:S:N:N3D:225 858656


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.7020

Margorie M. Shostak
3580 Wilshire Boulevard
Suite 1240
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2597

RE: The tariff classification of die cast model cars from Hong Kong

Dear Ms. Shostak:

In your letter dated November 30, 1990 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client The Franklin Mint Trading Corporation.

The items at issue are die-cast model cars for collectors. No specific model numbers or car styles were presented, however a description of the process of production was supplied. Metal parts for a number of model cars would be die cast in Hong Kong. Plastic parts for these same cars would be injection molded in Hong Kong. The sprues, gates and trees would be removed from these rough cast parts, a process known as "degating". The parts would be hand filed and ground to remove excess metal and then buffed. These finishing operations would occur in Hong Kong. All the necessary finished parts of a particular model would then be bulk packed for shipment to a factory in China for assembly into a model car.

In China the metal parts would be subject to vibratory burnishing to remove dirt and dust, and other necessary preparations for painting would take place. Then the parts would be painted, assembled, and packaged for export to the United States. It is expected that seventy five percent of the cost of the model car prior to export will have occurred in Hong Kong, and that the value of the metal die cast parts will far exceed the cost of any other component material.

The applicable subheading for the die cast model cars will be 9503.90.7020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Other toys; reduced-size ("scale") models and similar recreational models, working or not; puzzles of all kinds; and accessories thereof: Other: Other: Model airplanes, model boats and other models: Other. The duty rate will be 6.8 percent ad valorem.

In your letter your requested an opinion concerning the country of origin marking for these die cast model cars. Because of the process of production you described, there is no substantial transformation of the finished parts in China. The processing in China is basically an assembly operation. Because there is no substantial transformation, the country of origin for these model cars for classification purposes is Hong Kong. However, for marking purposes, the product should be marked "Assembled in China". It is not necessary to disclose the county of origin of the components used, but a company may do so if it wishes.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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