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HQ 735033





January 28, 1994

MAR 2-05 CO:R:C:V 735033 LR

CATEGORY: ENTRY MARKING

District Director of Customs
El Paso, Texas

RE: Internal Advice Request 19/93; Appraisement Entry; Unknown Country of Origin

Dear Sir:

This is in response to your memorandum dated March 3, 1993, forwarding a request for Internal Advice submitted by General Electric Company ("GE").

FACTS:

GE's Aerospace Division has contracted with Elamex, S.A., a Mexican firm, for assembly of kits of electronic components into circuit boards and other subassemblies. The kits are gathered in the United States from domestic and imported components and shipped to one of Elamex's facilities in Mexico. Upon export to Mexico, the imported components of the kits are identified simply as "foreign" on the Shippers's Export Declaration. Completed subassemblies are imported from Mexico under a marking waiver approved by your district.

On occasion, kits are returned to the United States from Mexico in unassembled form due to changes in production schedules or in order to remedy shipment of the wrong parts to Elamex. GE advises that the returned, unassembled piece parts also are subject to a marking waiver approved by your district.

GE indicates that unassembled kits frequently contain as many as 177 separate piece parts, which consists primarily of commodity electronic components. GE frequently purchases these commodities from distributors, who have both foreign and domestic sources for the parts, and in many cases, multiple foreign sources. Because the parts often are exempt from individual marking, the country of origin identification is lost when they are placed in inventory bins for eventual gathering into a kit to be assembled in Mexico. Thus, on those occasions when kits are returned from Mexico in unassembled form, the country of origin of the parts is not readily ascertainable, and can be ascertained, if at all, only with the expenditure of considerable time and expense. For this reason, GE would like to identify on the entry documents, the origin of non- U.S. components returned in unassembled kits by use of a generic designation of "foreign" or by listing the source countries in which the components may have originated.

ISSUE:

Whether GE may identify on the entry documents the origin of non-U.S. components returned in unassembled kits by use of a generic designation of "foreign" or by listing the source countries in which the components may have originated.

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

19 U.S.C. 1481 provides that all invoices of merchandise to be imported into the United States shall set forth various information including facts deemed necessary to a proper appraisement, examination, and classification of the merchandise that the Secretary of the Treasury may require. Section 141.86(a)(10), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 141.86(a)(10)), provides that the country of origin is required on each invoice of imported merchandise.

Special entry procedures are provided in 19 CFR Part 143. Entry by appraisement is covered in 19 CFR Part 143, Subpart B. Such procedure is generally used when the importer has insufficient information as to the value of the imported articles and is unable to obtain such information or to determine the value of the articles for the purpose of making formal entry thereof. In such case, the importer shall present any bills or statements of cost relating to the merchandise which maybe in his possession along with a declaration that he has no other information as to the value of the articles and is unable to obtain such information or to determine the value of the articles for the purpose of making formal entry thereof. See 19 CFR 143.13

By memorandum dated November 23, 1993 (copy enclosed), the Chief, Entry Rulings Branch, determined that appraisement entry procedures may also be used when the importer does not have sufficient information regarding country of origin for the purpose of making a formal entry. Specifically, where GE cannot identify the country of origin of specified merchandise for the reasons specified above and certain conditions are met, an appraisement entry may be appropriate. The district director must be satisfied that: 1) the marking requirements will be complied with; 2) none of the goods are subject to antidumping or countervailing duties; 3) the merchandise is not from a column 2 country; and 4) the merchandise is not subject to quota. These conditions are discussed in more detail in the November 23, 1993 memorandum. Use of the appraisement entry procedures would enable GE to use a generic designation of "foreign" or to list the source countries in which the components may have originated on its entry documentation.

There is no provision for a blanket approval of appraisement entry procedures. Application for an entry by appraisement shall be made on the entry summary, Customs Form 7501. 19 CFR 143.12. Except in situations specified in 19 CFR 143.11(a), which do not apply here, each entry by appraisement shall be allowed only with the approval of Headquarters. Each request for such approval shall be filed with the district director and shall state in detail the reasons for the request. 19 CFR 143.11(b). Therefore, each time GE wants to use an appraisement entry because it cannot determine the country of origin of its goods for the reasons specified above, it must follow these procedures.

HOLDING:

GE may apply for approval of an appraisement entry on specified merchandise for which it cannot ascertain the country of origin for the reasons specified above. Upon application, if you are satisfied that the conditions specified in the attached memorandum are satisfied, and Headquarters approves such request, GE may identify on the entry documents the origin of non-U.S. components returned in unassembled kits by use of a generic designation of "foreign" or by listing the source countries in which the components may have originated.

The Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make this decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Lexis, Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels 60 days from the date of this decision.

Please provide GE with a copy of this decision and the November 23, 1993 memorandum.

Sincerely,


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