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NY B88023

August 26, 1997

CLA-2-85:RR:NC:1:108 B88023


TARIFF NO.: 8520.90.0080

Mr. Jim Kamm
Account Executive
Mermax, LLC
4223 Glencoe Avenue
Suite C215
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

RE: The tariff classification of "IDeclare" Talking Pet Tag from China or Hong Kong.

Dear Mr. Kamm:

In your letter dated August 4, 1997 you requested a tariff classification ruling. A sample and literature were submitted.

The sample submitted is a small (2 1/4" L x 1 5/16" H x 5/8" W) device that allows the recording of a ten second message about a pet. It is designed to be attached to the pet's collar. The product is powered by four AG13 button cell batteries (which are included) and uses United States manufactured ChipCorder chip technology for record/playback of short-duration messages. You indicate that the final product is assembled in China. The sample is packed in a blister pack card for retail sale. The sample is marked "Made in China" on the reverse side and "Integrated Circuit made in USA" on the face side. The USA marking is larger, more prominent by virtue of its place on the face side of the card, and obviously not in close proximity to the China marking.

The country of origin markings as presented to this office are violative of Section 134.46 of the Customs Regulations (C.R.) which states that "[i]n any case where the words United States,' or American,' the letters U.S.A.,' any variation of such words or letters, 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 addition to that problem, the use of the phrase "Made in China" may be inappropriate. You identify the country of assembly as China, but the manufacturer's address is in Hong Kong. Since you have not documented the actual country of origin, we bring the following to your attention: it is the policy of the Customs Service that "...after the reversion of [Hong Kong] to China on July 1, 1997, the proper country of origin marking for such goods will continue to be Hong Kong.'" The full notice of this policy, published as T.D. (Treasury Decision) 97-47, can be found in the Federal Register of June 5, 1997, Vol. 62, No. 108, p. 30927f. Therefore, if you can furnish proper documentation that China is the physical country of origin, you need perfect your marking only in accordance with C.R. 134.46 cited above. If, in fact, the product is made in Hong Kong, your marking should so indicate.

The applicable subheading for the "IDeclare" Talking Pet Tag will be 8520.90.0080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "[m]agnetic tape recorders and other sound recording apparatus, whether or not incorporating a sound reproducing device: [o]ther: [o]ther." The rate of duty will be 1.6 percent ad valorem.

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 Harvey Kuperstein at 212-466-5672.


Robert B. Swierupski
Chief, Metals & Machinery Branch

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