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NY 812324

August 7, 1995

CLA-2-39:S:N:N6:343 812324


TARIFF NO.: 3926.40.0000; 9505.10.4020

Mr. Jeffrey H. Pfeffer
Irving A. Mandel
Counselor at Law
237 Park Avenue, 21st Floor
New York, NY 10017

RE: The tariff classification, marking and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of plastic statuettes from Mexico; Article 509

Dear Mr. Pfeffer:

In your letter dated June 28, 1995, on behalf of Santa's Best Ltd., you requested a ruling on the status of plastic blow molded statuettes from Mexico under the NAFTA.

You have submitted pictures of seven styles of lighted plastic display figures. The figures range from 40 to 46 inches in height and appear to be intended for lawn display. You state in a subsequent submission that the statuettes are entirely of plastic and do not contain calcium carbonate or crushed stone. All seven items appear from the pictures to be three dimensional representations.

Item # 61700 is a 42 inch traditional Santa Claus figure with a red suit, black boots, a white beard, a sack of toys and a list.

Item # 61710 is a 42 inch brown skinned version of the traditional Santa Claus figure. It is the same as item # 61700 in all respects except the skin color.

Item #61720 is a 40 inch tall figure of an old woman in a red outfit. The figure is called Mrs. Santa Claus. Item # 61725 is the same as item #61720 except that the Mrs. Santa Claus figure has brown skin.

Item # 61730 is a 42 inch figure of a snow man. Item #61740 is a 46 inch tall figure of a white deer. Item #61745 is a 46 inch tall figure of a brown deer.

The applicable tariff provision for the items #61720, #61725, #61730 #61740 and #61745 will be 3926.40.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for statuettes and other ornamental articles (of plastics). The general rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The applicable tariff provision for the items #61700 and #61710 will be 9505.10.4020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof, of plastics, other. This provision is free of duty.

You state in your submission that except for items #61740 and #61745, the white and brown deer, all other styles are composed 100% of materials that are of U.S. or Mexican origin. The eyes of the deer, styles #61740 and #61745, are manufactured in Taiwan. You state that they represent 0.68% of the final cost of the deer. We agree that they are de minimus as defined in

You state further that the plastic resin, which is blow molded in Mexico, is purchased from Pemex a Mexican government corporation. We assume that you mean the plastic resin is wholly produced in Mexico.

All seven styles, being made entirely in the territory of Mexico using materials which themselves were originating, (except the deer eyes which are considered de minimus), will satisfy the requirements of HTSUSA General Note 12(b)(iii). The merchandise will therefore be free of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

You also request a ruling on whether the proposed marking "Made in Mexico" is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported lighted plastic lawn statues. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

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 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.

The country of origin marking requirements for a "good of a NAFTA country" are also determined in accordance with Annex 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), as implemented by section 207 of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat 2057) (December 8, 1993) and the interim amendments to the Customs Regulations published as T.D. 94-4 (59 Fed. Reg. 109, January 3, 1994) with corrections (59 Fed. Reg. 5082, February 3, 1994) and T.D. 94-1 (59 Fed. Reg. 69460, December 30, 1993). These interim amendments took effect on January 1, 1994 to coincide with the effective date of the NAFTA. The Marking Rules used for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country are contained in T.D. 94-4 (adding a new Part 102, Customs Regulations). The marking requirements of these goods are set forth in T.D. 94-1 (interim amendments to various provisions of Part 134, Customs Regulations).

Section 134.45(a)(2) of the interim regulations, provides that "a good of a NAFTA country may be marked with the name of the country of origin in English, French or Spanish." Section 134.1(g) of the interim regulations, defines a "good of a NAFTA country" as an article for which the country of origin is Canada, Mexico or the United States as determined under the NAFTA Marking Rules.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

The proposed marking stating "Made in Mexico", as described above, if it is conspicuously, legibly and permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported plastic statues .

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.


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