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NY 811447

July 11, 1995

CLA-2-87:S:N:N1:811447 101


TARIFF NO.: 8708.21.0000

Mr. Joseph L. Giumentaro
Entry Supervisor
Ameri-Can Customhouse Brokers, Inc.
783 Busti Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14213

RE: The tariff classification of the Q'Straint automotive safety seat belt restraint system from Canada, the U.S. and Taiwan.

Dear Mr. Giumentaro:

In your letter dated May 15, 1995 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The item concerned is the Q'Straint Restraint System. The parts which can comprise the various models of this wheelchair safety seat belt device at it's widest range are velcro strips, an aluminum belt holder, a polypropylene hinge, screws, a nylon spacer, a belt cutter, channels, a wall rack, a riser, a bolt, a nut, a rubber insert, adhesives, rear belts, front belts, a lap belt, a shoulder belt, a floor pocket, washers and an S/Belt bracket.

The applicable subheading for the Q'Straint Restraint System will be 8708.21.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Parts and accessories of . . . motor vehicles: Other parts and accessories of bodies (including cabs): Safety seat belts. The rate of duty will be 3% ad valorem.

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.

Section 134.1 (b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1 (b)), defines "country of origin" as the country of manufacture, production or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the "country of origin" within the meaning of marking laws and regulations. The case of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 CCPA 267 (C.A.D. 98), 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.

The classification of an article does not control the country of origin marking of the article. Courts have acknowledged the reality that the application of differing laws relating to the importation of goods into the U.S. can result in differing origins for the same product. In discussing the differences between the marking laws, drawback laws and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the court in National Juice Products Association v. United States, 10 CIT 48, 628 F.Supp. 978 (1986), concluded, "Thus, although the language of the tests applied under the three statutes is similar, the results may differ where differences in statutory language and purpose are pertinent."; National Juice, note 14, at 58-59. The differing purposes of the marking laws compared with the classification schedules justify different results in the present instance; one for origin, one for duty assessment.

The pertinent statutory purpose involved in application of the marking laws was explained in United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27 CCPA 297, C.A.D. 104 (1940):

Congress intended that the ultimate purchaser should be able to know by an inspection of the marking on imported goods the country of which the goods is the product. The evident purpose is to mark the goods so that at the time of purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will.

The classification of a wheelchair safety seat belt restraint system does not control the country of origin marking required on such article. The bringing together of the components of such a system is not an assembly of a new and different article for purposes of marking. The party packaging the components, some manufactured in the country of packing, some imported into the country of packing in a finished condition, is not the ultimate purchaser of the components; the packing is not a substantial transformation.

In the present case, the individual articles of the Q-Straint wheelchair restraint system need not be individually marked, but marking on the container that will reach the ultimate purchaser must indicate the origins of the components of the system. A phrase such as "Components made in Canada, U.S. and Taiwan" or words of similar meaning would be sufficient.

For invoicing purposes, the description "Automotive Safety Restraints for Invalid Carriages" would be sufficient for U.S. Customs classification determination.

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

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