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NY B88878

August 22, 1997

MAR-2 RR:NC:1:110 B88878


Ms. Lisa L. Cortes
AST Computer, Inc.
16215 Alton Parkway
Irvine, CA 92718


Dear Ms. Cortes:

This is in response to your letter dated August 18, 1997, requesting a waiver of marking for the notebook subassemblies upon importation into the United States based on 19 C.F.R. 134.32 (h).

The merchandise under consideration are notebook computer subassemblies (AST P/N's: 234802-902; 234802-903; and 234802-904). In their imported condition, the subassemblies will not contain CPU chips, memory, hard disk drives, CD ROM drives or an operating system. Upon importation into the United States the subassemblies will be packaged in a shipping carton that will contain five subassemblies. The immediate subassemblies will not be marked with their country of origin. The outside packaging will contain the marking "Made in Korea". Color photographs have been provided which shows the marking of the outside shipping cartons, and subassemblies contained within the cartons. Detailed manufacturing/assembly instructions have also been provided which describe the assembly/testing operations performed in the US, by AST.

In their imported condition, AST Computer is the ultimate purchaser of the subassemblies, noting Section 134.1 (d). The product will not be sold in it's imported condition. It will be a generic product that will be put into inventory until orders are received for specific configurations. AST will add such components as the CPU chip, memory, hard disk drives, CD ROM drives, and operating system, test the product, and then sell or export a finished notebook computer. It is to be noted that AST purchases these notebook subassemblies from their parent company in Korea. I
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. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the notebook subassemblies is the AST subsidiary that imports the subassembly and further processes, and assembles it into a finished notebook computer.

As provided in 19 CFR 134.35, the imported notebook subassemblies are excepted from individual country of origin marking so long as AST only uses them in the further manufacturing/assembly of notebook computers, and does not resell them or use them as replacement parts, and the outermost containers of the imported articles are marked with the country of origin.

In this case, provided the Port Director is satisfied that the imported notebook subassemblies will be assembled in the manner described above, and that the other conditions set forth in 19 C.F.R. 134.35 are met, the Port Director may authorize an exception under 19 C.F.R. 134.32 (h), in which case marking of the individual notebook subassemblies will not be required. 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 Art Brodbeck at 212-466-5490.


Robert B. Swierupski
Chief, Metals & Machinery Branch

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