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NY 808608

April 13, 1995

MAR-2-84:S:N:N1:104 808608


Mr. Brian D. Fritsch
Thermacore Inc.
780 Eden Road
Lancaster, PA 17601

RE: Country of origin marking of heat exchanger cores

Dear Mr. Fritsch:

This is in response to your letter dated March 8, 1995, requesting a ruling on whether imported heat exchanger cores are required to be individually marked with the country of origin if they are later to be processed in the U.S. by a U.S. manufacturer. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

The heat exchanger core is a heat exchanger subassembly constructed of 25 steel tubes with attached aluminum fins. The article is a product of the Ukraine. The tubes are evacuated and filled with a small amount of H2O. This process makes them "heat pipes" (a two-phase heat transfer system). The final subassembly has a protective aluminum housing that surrounds the fins. After importation, two fans, a wire harness and a gasket will be installed on the heat exchanger core at your manufacturing facilities. The completed unit will then be individually packaged and marketed as a cabinet cooler. All of the components that are installed on the Ukrainian subassembly are manufactured in the United States with the exception of the fans which are of foreign origin.

In your letter, you indicate that your firm plans to import these subassemblies in lots of 50 units or more per shipment. The units will be bulk packaged in crates.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, 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 its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d), defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. 19 CFR 134.1(d)(1) states that if an imported article will be used in manufacture, the manufacturer may be the ultimate purchaser if he subjects the imported article to a process which results in a substantial transformation of the article. The case of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98) (1940), provides that an article used in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article will be considered substantially transformed and that the manufacturer or processor will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the constituent materials. In such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked.

In this case, the imported heat exchanger cores are substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser of the imported heat exchanger cores and under 19 CFR 134.35 only the containers which reach the ultimate purchaser are required to be marked with the country of origin "Made in the Ukraine".

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is entered. 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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