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NY 814241

September 11, 1995

MAR-2-05:S:N:N3:115 814241


Mr. Roy Gilham
CHR International Inc.
600 W. Freedom Ave.
Orange, CA 92665

RE: The country of origin marking requirements for pipe rolls from China.

Dear Mr. Gilham:

In your letter dated August 14, 1995, you requested a waiver on the country of origin marking requirements for pipe rolls, on behalf of your client, Grinnell Corporation.

The samples submitted are a 3 1/2" pipe roll and a 1/2" socket. The 3 1/2" pipe roll has "China" embossed on it. The 1/2" socket is not marked with a country of origin designation.

In your letter, you state that a "substantial transformation" occurs because the rolls and sockets are assembled with axles and used as part of a construction installation. The rolls and sockets are not sold to consumers in its imported condition. The drawings of the pipe roll and socket figures 171 and 171A are depicted in the Grinnell catalog.

Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304) provides in general that any article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States must be marked conspicuously, indelibly, legibly and as permanently as the nature of the article will permit in such manner as to indicate the country of origin to the ultimate purchaser in the United States.

A substantial transformation occurs "when an article emerges from a manufacturing process with a name, character, or use which differs from those of the original material subjected to the process." See, Torrington Co., v. United States, 8 CIT 150, 596 F. Supp 1083 (CIT1984)

Based upon the drawings, this office does not agree with your position that a "substantial transformation" has occurred. This is an assembly operation and not a manufacturing process that changes the character of the product. The assembly process shows the steel roll rod connecting the pipe roll to the socket and that would not justify the waiving of the country of origin marking requirements explained above.

Please note the following Section 304 exceptions to marking:
a) Incapable of being marked f) Imported by use of importer b) Injury to product and not for resale c) Economically prohibitive g) Further processing & obliterated d) Container (only) to be marked h) Ultimate purchaser is aware e) Crude substance i) Produced > 20 yrs prior to import j) J-list

The Grinnell Corporation is not the ultimate purchaser of the finished goods. Therefore, a waiver of marking could not be granted under Section 304(g) or (h) as previously addressed.

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
Area Director

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