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NY B87968

August 4, 1997

CLA-2-76:RR:NC:MM:113 B87968


TARIFF NO.: 7615.19.3000

Ms. Annette M. McCormack
Meijer, Inc.
2929 Walker Avenue, NW
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49544-9428

RE: The tariff classification of a steamer set from Italy and France

Dear Ms. McCormack:

In your letter dated July 22, 1997, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise is a 3-piece Steamer Set (UPC #041250673432). It consists of a 2 1/2-quart capacity aluminum pot and a glass insert with a glass lid. The pot is coated with a non-stick interior finish. The glass insert has a number of holes in its bottom, and a bottom rim which fits securely into the pot. The components of the set are packaged in plastic sheet for retail sale. The pot is made in Italy, and the glass components are made in France.

1. Classification.

General Rule of Interpretation 3(b), HTS, controls the classification of the instant merchandise:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

The Explanatory Note for GRI 3(b) states that the factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

In the opinion of this office, the aluminum pot's function in the set is preeminent, giving the essential character to the set.

The applicable subheading for the Steamer Set will be 7615.19.3000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for table, kitchen or other household articles, of aluminum, other, cooking and kitchen ware, enameled or glazed or containing non-stick interior finishes, other. The rate of duty will be 4.1 percent ad valorem.

2. Marking

You have also requested a ruling on country-of-origin marking. The sample you provided has a label which says:


With respect to marking requirements, it should be noted that Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article.

Section 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19CFR 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. Substantial transformation is a manufacture which results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article will be substantially transformed. In this case, we assume from your letter and sample that the French glass components are shipped to Italy where they are simply packaged together. In the opinion of this office, this does not constitute a substantial transformation of the glass components, which retain their identity.

Furthermore, since the address of the shipper appears on the label, 19 CFR 134.46 must be considered:

In any case in which the words ``United States,'' or ``American,'' the letters ``U.S.A.,'' any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appear on an imported article or its container, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by ``Made in,'' ``Product of,'' or other words of similar meaning.

In view of the foregoing, it is our position that since the glass is made in France and is not subjected to any processes in Italy that would be a substantial transformation, and that since the US address of the distributor appears on the label, the set must be marked both "Aluminum Pot Made in Italy,"and "Glass Steamer and Lid Made in France," or words of equal effect, in letters of a size comparable to the US address.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 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 James Smyth at 212-466-2084.


Robert B. Swierupski
Chief, Metals & Machinery Branch

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