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NY A89889

January 16, 1997

MAR-2-82:RR:NC:1:119 A89889


Ms. Teresa A. Gleason
Mr. Michael E. Murphy
Baker & McKenzie
815 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006-4078

RE: The Country of Origin Marking of Disposable Razors and Razor Cartridges from Mexico; Article 509; NAFTA Marking Rules (Final).

Dear Ms. Gleason and Mr. Murphy:

In your letter dated November 22, 1996, supplemented by facsimile dated December 19, 1996, you requested a country of origin marking ruling under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The request is being made on behalf of American Safety Razor Company, P.O. Box 500, Staunton, Virginia.

The facts you have presented are the following.

Disposable razors and razor cartridges are assembled in Mexico from razor blades, plastic spacers and molded components. The razor blades are manufactured in the United States from 300 pound coils of steel imported from Japan or Sweden. In its imported condition, the steel is in a raw form. It has not been annealed, hardened, sharpened, shaped to a razor blade or perforated. Such steel is classifiable in Chapter 72. The plastic spacers are manufactured in the United States from resin of U.S. origin. The molded components (handles, platforms and caps) are manufactured either in Mexico from resin of Mexican origin or in the United States from resin of U.S. origin. The finished razors and razor cartridges are packed for retail sale, using packaging materials such as bags, blisters and cards of U.S. and Mexican origin. The merchandise is then exported to the United States. Samples of the finished products have been submitted to this office.

The tariff classification and country of origin of the components prior to assembly are as follows:

Components Classification Origin
Razor Blades Heading 8212 U.S.
Plastic Spacers Heading 3926 U.S.
Molded Components Heading 3926 U.S. or Mexico

Both the finished disposable razors and razor cartridges are classifiable in heading 8212. Thus the plastic spacers and molded components (heading 3926) satisfy the tariff shift required in C.R. 102.20 but the razor blades (8212) do not.

Your analysis places the finished razors and cartridges in the hierarchy of the NAFTA Marking Rules at C.R. 102.11(b)(1): "The country of origin of the good is the country or countries of origin of the single material that imparts the essential character to the good..." You also cite C.R. 102.18(b)(1) which states in part: "For purposes of identifying the material that imparts the essential character to a good under section 102.11, the only materials that shall be taken into consideration are those domestic or foreign materials that are classified in a tariff provision from which a change in tariff classification is not allowed under the section 102.20 specific rule or other requirements applicable to the good..."

You believe the razor blades impart the essential character to the finished products and therefore the latter are, under the NAFTA, of U.S. origin. You further believe the finished products do not have to be marked based on C.R. 134.32(m) which exempts U.S. goods from country of origin marking.

We accept your analysis and agree that the finished disposable razors and razor cartridges may be imported into the United States without country of origin marking.

In your letter of 11-22-96 you also requested an extension of time after the issue of the ruling to allow your client to use up a significant inventory of packaging material marked "Blade Made in U.S.A./Assembled in Mexico". Such marking was previously in compliance with the marking requirements under the interim NAFTA marking rules. Pursuant to C.R. 181.100, your client will be allowed a period of 90 days following the issue of the ruling to use up the specified inventory of packaging material.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 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.

If you have any questions pertaining to this matter, please contact National Import Specialist Jacques Preston of this office at (212) 466-5488.


Robert B. Swierupski
Chief, Metals & Machinery Branch

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