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HQ 560865

May 15, 1998

MAR-02 RR:CR:SM 560865 RSD


Mr. Jim Wickstead
Senior Consultant
PBB Global Logistics
434 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14202

RE: Country of origin of exposed film imported into the United States from Canada; 19 CFR Part 102

Dear Mr. Wickstead:

This is in response to your letter dated February 20, 1998, on behalf of Seattle Film Works, requesting a ruling on the country of origin of exposed film imported from Canada, which will be developed in the United States and returned to Canada.


Seattle Film Works of Seattle, Washington is in the business of developing photographic film. It imports from Canada exposed 35 mm photographic film which will be developed in the U.S. Exposed film means that a camera has taken pictures using the film, but the film has not yet been developed into printed photographs. The imported shipments will consist of various brands of film, such as Kodak and Fuji. Although the film may be manufactured in several different countries, it is exposed in Canada by tourists, citizens, and businesses. The Canadian film owners will send the exposed roles of film to Seattle Film Works either by mailing it or depositing it at retail outlets set up in shopping malls, stores, and specialty shops.

When the shipments are presented to Customs, the original country of origin of each canister of film cannot be discerned because it arrives in a sealed envelope to secure the film and protect it from further exposure, dirt, and grime. The individual envelopes are used for identification purposes when the printed pictures are returned to Canada and ultimately picked up by Seattle Film Works' customers. The original country of manufacture of the film cannot be readily determined without opening each envelope and inspecting the contents. You inquire as to the country of origin of the imported exposed film.


What is the country of origin of the photographic film manufactured in various countries and exposed in Canada?


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 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR ?134.1(b)), defines "country of origin" as:

The country of manufacture, production or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S. 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 this part; however for a good of a NAFTA country, the NAFTA Marking Rules will determine the country of origin.

The country of origin marking requirements for a "good of a NAFTA country" are determined in accordance with Annex 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), as implemented by section 207 of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057) (December 8, 1993). Section 134.1(g), Customs Regulations (19 CFR ?134.1(g)), defines a "good of a NAFTA country" as an article for which the country of origin is Canada, Mexico, or the U.S. as determined under the NAFTA Marking Rules set out at Part 102, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 102). Section 134.1(j), Customs Regulations (19 CFR ?134.1(j)), provides that the "NAFTA Marking Rules" are the rules promulgated for purposes of determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country.

Section 102.11, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 102.11), sets forth the required hierarchy for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country for the purposes of country of origin marking and determining the rate of duty and staging category applicable to an originating good as set out in Annex 302.2. Paragraph (a) of this section states that the country of origin of a good is the country in which:

(1) The good is wholly obtained or produced;

(2) The good is produced exclusively from domestic materials; or

(3) Each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in section 102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section, and all other applicable requirements of these rules are satisfied.

"Foreign material" is defined in 19 CFR 102.1(e) as "a material whose country of origin as determined under these rules is not the same country as the country in which the good is produced."

Since the film will be manufactured in several different countries before it is exposed in Canada, it is neither wholly obtained or produced, nor produced exclusively from domestic materials as those terms are defined under section 102.1, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 102.1). Therefore, Sections 102.11(a)(1) and 102.11(a)(2) do not apply to the facts presented in this case. Accordingly, section 102.11(a)(3), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 102.11(a)(3)), is the applicable rule that must be applied to determine the origin of the exposed film. Pursuant to section 102.11(a)(3), the country of origin of a good is the country in which each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in section 102.20, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 102.20).

In the instant case, you indicate that unexposed photographic film is classifiable under heading 3702, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS"); and the exposed film is classifiable under heading 3704, HTSUS. We will assume for the purposes of this ruling that these classifications are correct.

Therefore, the change in tariff classification for the exposed film must be made in accordance with section 102.20(f), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 102.20(f)), Section VI: Chapters 28 through 38, headings 3704-3706, HTSUS, which states the applicable change as:

A change to subheading 3704 through 3706 from any other heading, including another heading within that group.

The exposed film falls within a different heading than the unexposed film. Therefore, the film undergoes the necessary tariff shift and becomes a product of the Canada when it is exposed in that country. Accordingly, the country of origin of the exposed film is Canada and the film or its container imported into the U.S. must be marked to indicate that its country of origin is Canada.


Based on the information submitted, photographic film exposed in Canada is a product of Canada and, under 19 U.S.C. 1304, the imported exposed film or its container must be marked accordingly.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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