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NY 805390

January 06, 1995
CLA-2-90:S:N:N3:119 805390


TARIFF NO.: 9021.19.8500

Mr. Leonard M. Fertman
2049 Century Park East, Suite 1800
Los Angeles, CA 90067

RE: The tariff classification, country of origin marking and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of Orthodontic Preformed Archwires from Mexico; Article 509

Dear Mr. Fertman:

In your letter dated December 13, 1994 you requested a ruling on the status of orthodontic preformed archwires from Mexico under the NAFTA. The request is being made on behalf of Ormco Corporation, Glendora, CA.

The preformed archwires consist of a length of wire arched to fit the contours of the mouth and are used in orthodontic work in conjunction with braces. Your letter describes the processing of the product as follows:

The subject merchandise is manufactured from stainless steel or Titanium Molybdenum Alloy (TMA) wire produced in the United States, or Nickel Titanium Alloy (NiTi) wire produced in Japan. The wire is shipped to Ormco Corporation in the United States on a spool. In the case of the NiTi wire, the wire is heat treated in the United States prior to processing. The wire is cut into desired lengths in the U.S. where it is degreased, acid etched and inspected. The wire is then bent in the general configuration of an arch before being shipped to Mexico. In Mexico the wire undergoes a chemical wash. The wire is marked with a midline and then bent with pliers and manipulated by hand to conform to a template, according to specifications, into the final product. The preformed archwires are then cleaned, packaged, labeled, inspected and shipped to Ormco Corporation in Glendora, California.

The archwires are placed in individual sealed envelopes and packed ten to a box. They are sold only in this condition to orthodontists. Both the envelopes and the box are marked "Made in Mexico".

The steel wire is processed in the U.S. into an unfinished orthodontic article thereby meeting the change in tariff classification required under HTSUSA General Note 12(t)/90. Therefore the preformed archwires made from the American and the Japanese steel are products of the U.S. when they are shipped to Mexico for further processing. Upon return to the U.S. the finished preformed archwires are considered to be products of Mexico pursuant to 19CFR Part 102, Section 102.14.

The applicable tariff provision for the orthodontic preformed archwires will be 9021.19.8500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for artificial joints and other orthopedic or fracture appliances; parts and accessories thereof... other. The general rate of duty will be 4.6 percent.

Since the preformed archwires satisfy the requirements of HTSUSA General Note 12(b)(ii) or 12(b)(iii), they will be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and agreements.

In regard to the marking requirements, pursuant to Annex 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement and Part 134 of the Customs Regulations, the proposed country of origin marking (gummed label marked "Made in Mexico" on each envelope and box) would be acceptable.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181).

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.

This ruling letter is binding only as to the party to whom it is issued and may be relied on only by that party.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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