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HQ 731828

January 30, 1990

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 731828 jd


Harold I. Loring, Esq.
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th Street
New York, New York 10017

RE: Country of origin marking requirements applicable to imported valve components

Dear Mr. Loring:

This is in rely to your letter of October 6, 1988, concerning the application of country of origin marking requirements to imported valve components. We regret the delay in responding.


According to your submission, your client is seeking an exception from the requirement of individual country of origin marking for components used in the domestic assembly of three lines of valves. Two lines are hand-operated ball valves in various sizes with either threaded or solder ends. The third is a line of automatic atmospheric vacuum breaker valves in various sizes used to prevent back-siphonage.

The foreign components used in assembly of the ball valves are the valve body, in certain larger valves an adapter, and fasteners. The valve body is the housing into which are assembled components of U.S. origin that make up the functioning part of the valve itself. The U.S. parts are the ball, seats, stem, packing nut, stem packing, handle and thrust washer. In the line of ball valves which pe~its in-line servicing, there are additional U.S. parts, i.e., seals.

The foreign components used in the automatic atmospheric vacuum breaker valve are the valve body and hood. U.S. components consist of the bonnet and guide stem assembly, disc holder assembly and disc, and an "o" ring. A name plate used is also of U.S. origin.


Are valve bodies, and in some instances adapters, imported for use in the manufacture of either ball valves or automatic
atmospheric vacuum breaker valves substantially transformed by such manufacture so as to make the importer/manufacturer the ultimate purchaser of the bodies and adapters?


Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

Section 134.35, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.35), implementing the principle of U.S.v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98), provides that an article 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 will be considered substantially transformed, and therefore the manufacturer or processor in the U.S. who converts or combines the imported article into the different article will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the imported article within the contemplation of 19 U.S.C. 1304(a). Accordingly, the article shall be excepted from marking. However, in accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1304(b) and S 134.22, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.22), the outermost container of the imported article shall be marked to indicate the country of origin of the article.

Customs ruling 729335 (April 18, 1986) concerned the country of origin marking requirements of plumbing valves, and large and small ball valves. In the case of the plumbing valves, finished body castings and finished bonnet castings were combined in the U.S. with valve stems, discs, disc screws and handwheels to make a complete plumbing valve. It was determined that the imported plumbing valve components (as well as the components of large and small ball valves) were substantially transformed by the manufacturing process in the U.S. The imported components were combined with domestic parts to produce a new and different article of commerce. The imported components were said to "lose their separate identity" in the finished product. Accordingly,
the importer/manufacturer was held to be the ultimate purchaser of the imported articles and they were excepted from individual marking pursuant to ~ 134.35, Customs Regulations.


Imported Componed. ts for ball valves, consistino of valve bodies and adapters, are substantially transformed by their assembly with balls, seats, stems, packing nuts, stem packing, handles and thrust washers, to produce complete ball valves.

Imported components for automatic atmospheric vacuum breaker valves, consisting of valve bodies and hoods, are substantially transformed by their assembly with bonnets, guide stem assemblies, disc holder assemblies, discs and "o" rings, to produce complete automatic atmospheric vacuum breaker valves.

In consideration of the above, the importer of the specified valve components who uses them in the manufacture of completed valves is the ultimate purchaser of those components for country of origin marking purposes. Accordingly, the components are excepted from individual country of origin marking. However, the outermost container of the components reaching the ultimate purchaser must be marked to indicate the country of origin of the components. Customs officials at the port of entry must be satisfied that such container will reach the ultimate purchaser unopened and the valve components will be used for the stated purpose.


Marvin M. Amernick
Chief, Value, Special Programs and Admissibility Branch

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