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NY B84843

May 7, 1997

MAR-2-05:RR:NC:1:115 B84843


Mr. Richard H. Abbey
Ablondi, Foster, Sobin & Davidow, P.C.
1130 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: The NAFTA country of origin marking requirements for hammers and hammer heads from Mexico.

Dear Mr. Abbey:

In your letter dated April 22, 1997, you requested a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements for certain hammers, on behalf of your client Stanley Works (Stanley), of New Britain, CT.

The subject items are hammer heads and their handles manufactured in the United States (U.S.) and exported to Mexico where the heads will be polished, lacquered and assembled with the handles. The assembled hammers will be returned to the U.S.

Five samples of hammer heads along with a handle were submitted, showing various stages of production that will be performed in the U.S. The first hammer head is the forged head, the second hammer head is the head after grinding, the third hammer head is the head after heat treatment, the fourth hammer head is the head after rim tempering, and the fifth hammer head is the finished hammer head that the name Stanley die sunk into it. The handle core rod and flash is trimmed.

In Mexico, the head and handle are assembled in the following manner:
a) coin bottom of eye (a punch flares out the bottom of the hammer head's eye and removes burrs) b) a rubber O ring is placed on the top end of the handle c) the handle is inserted into the finished hammer head d) epoxy bonding material is inserted into the cavity in 4 stages

As to the marking of the returned hammer to the U.S., the NAFTA rules of country of origin are to be considered. The hammer heads and handles are classified under HTSUS 8205.20. There is no tariff shift as the NAFTA rules of origin require a change to headings from 8201 through 8215 from any other chapter. The test for regional value content is met as the cost in Mexico is 28% and the main cost is that of the U.S.

The changes to the Customs Regulations contained in the Federal Register of June 6, 1996 (61 Fed. Reg. 28932) addressed the question of goods assembled abroad as to country of origin marking under the NAFTA Agreement. Customs noted that the proposal to remove Sections 10.22 and 102.14 can be met where "goods of U.S. origin which are assembled abroad or otherwise advanced in value or improved in condition abroad, but which did not undergo a change in origin as a result of these operations, will not be required to have any country of origin marking pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304 when they are imported into the U.S."

Stanley has met all the requirements of the marking statute under NAFTA and the returned assembled hammer from Mexico need not be marked with any reference to Mexico as the country of origin.

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 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 Melvyn Birnbaum at 212-466-5487.


Robert B. Swierupski
Chief, Metals & Machinery Branch

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