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NY 815342

November 2, 1996

MAR-2 R:N4:102 815342


Mr. Pat Farrell
Export-Import Services Inc.
900 Route 9
Woodbridge, NJ 07095-1003


Dear Mr. Farrell:

This is in response to your letter dated September 18, 1995, on behalf of your client, Chatham Brass, requesting a ruling on whether imported tub spouts are required to be individually marked with the country of origin if it is later to be processed in the U.S. by a U.S. manufacturer. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

In your letter you stated that your client imports tub filler and diverter spouts from Taiwan and resells them to a limited number of domestic plumbing manufacturers. The spouts are imported in finished condition and are packaged, along with domestically produced shower valves, into complete kits. The spouts are not incorporated into further assemblies and retain their individual identities up to the time that they are purchased by the end user.

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. See, 19 CFR 134.35.

In this case the imported tub spouts are not substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer is not the ultimate purchaser of the imported spouts. Pursuant to the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 either the tub spouts shall be marked in a conspicuous, legible, indelible and permanent manner with "Taiwan", or the retail package in which it is ultimately sold will clearly indicate that the spout is of Taiwanese origin. Because of the nature of the article, we would allow individual marking to be accomplished by the use of a user removable label.

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

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Karl J. Riedl at 212-466-5493.


Roger J. Silvestri

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