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NY B89671

September 23, 1997

CLA-2-96:RR:NC:SP:233 B89671


TARIFF NO.: 9603.40.4040

Mr. S.V. Festa
Central Purchasing Inc.
3491 Mission Oaks Boulevard
Camarillo, CA 93012

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin of natural bristle paintbrushes from Indonesia.

Dear Mr. Festa:

In your letter dated August 29, 1997, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample is a paintbrush which measures approximately 10-3/4 inches long and 4 inches wide at the bristle tip. You indicate that the bristle of the brush is made from animal hair, imported from various sources into Indonesia. In your letter of June 25, 1997, you indicated that the animal hair could be from China. The paintbrushes will be manufactured in Indonesia from the imported bristles; the wood handles and metal ferrules (steel bands) are made in Indonesia. The manufacturing process will be as follows: The raw bristles are sorted and cut. A piece of raw wood is cut into a handle shape, then routed, sanded and stained to the desired luster and coat. The ferrule is cut, stamped and riveted to the wood with the bristle material.

The applicable subheading for the natural bristle paintbrush will be 9603.40.4040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for paint, distemper, varnish or similar brushes; paint pads and rollers: natural bristle brushes. The rate of duty will be 4% ad valorem.

You have also requested a country of origin ruling regarding the paintbrushes. Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin imported into the U.S. 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 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 the 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 19 CFR Part 134.

A substantial transformation occurs when articles lose their identity and become new articles having a new name, character or use. The processing which will take place in Indonesia will not effect a substantial transformation. The bristles are the very essence of the finished paintbrush and do not become a new article having a new name, character or use. Accordingly, the country of origin is China (or other source country) and the paintbrushes must be marked to indicate that China (or other source country) is the country of origin.

Paintbrushes consisting of Chinese bristles manufactured in the People's Republic of China (China) are subject to additional Antidumping Duties of 351.92 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 Lawrence Mushinske at 212-466-5739.


Robert B. Swierupski

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