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NY C81419

December 2, 1997

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:SP:225 C81419


TARIFF NO.: 9502.10.0010

Mr. Patrick Hart
5530 Corbin Ave. Suite 333
Tarzana, CA 91356

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of dolls from Mexico

Dear Mr. Hart:

In your letter dated October 30, 1997, received in this office on November 5, 1997, you requested a tariff classification and country of origin marking ruling. Two unmarked samples were submitted with your inquiry.

The "Lil Miss Stuffit" is a textile representation of a woman wearing a very long dress. The doll's head and upper torso are stuffed with soft filler material. She wears a bow in her hair that matches her dress. The figure measures 24 inches in height. The doll's dress falls loosely approximately 16 inches below the waist and is gathered at the bottom with a stitched-in elastic. This lower portion of the dress is empty and is intended to be filled by the consumer with plastic bags received from purchasing groceries at the market. While the doll serves as a means of storing the plastic bags it also may be used to dispense them from an opening at the bottom of the dress.

The "Fanny Granny" doll measures approximately 13 inches in height. The item is constructted of textile materials and is stuffed. The figure depicts a woman wearing a bonnet tied under her chin and a print dress with white apron. Wire frames are glued to her nose to represent glasses. The doll's arms are stitched together in front holding a tiny whisk broom. She has no legs. The torso of the "Granny" doll consists of a stuffed, pole-like, structure incapable of standing alone. According to the inquirer, the doll may be used as a puppet or as a decorative cozy in the bathroom.

Dolls are defined as those figures which resemble a human being and are made of materials such as plastics, textile, wood, paperboard, etc. They may be designed for purposes of amusement, as in play activities for children, or for decorative use as in those collected by adults for display. The "Lil Miss Stuffit" and "Fanny Granny" dolls, are readily recognizable as dolls whose primary purpose is to decorate the home.

The applicable subheading for the "Lil Miss Stuffit" and "Fanny Granny" dolls will be 9502.10.0010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof: whether or not dressed: stuffed. The rate of duty will be free.

You also inquired as to the proper labelling requirements pertaining to country of origin marking, safety warnings and the acceptable size and location of such labels.

In regards to country of origin, 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.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

Section 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19CFR 134.1(b)), defines "country of origin" as the country of manufacture, production or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States. 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 marking laws and regulations. Substantial transformation is a manufacture which results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article will be substantially transformed. According to your letter, the material for the dolls is shipped from the United States in bulk to Mexico where it will be presumably cut, sewn, stuffed and further worked to finish the dolls.

As a result of the significant processing performed in Mexico it is apparant that a substantial transformation of the material sent abroad has been accomplished. Consequently, the country of origin for the dolls is Mexico.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

In regards to the applicability fiber content labelling requirements we would advise you to determine if there are state regulations that may apply. Please contact the appropriate governing regulatory agency within the states in which you intend to sell your product. For items of Chapter 95 there are no federal fiber content labelling requirements.

As far as safety warning label requirements for the dolls, you should contact the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), Washington, D.C. 20207-0001, or your local CPSC office.

In conclusion, we have determined that the materials sent to Mexico, having undergone a substantial transformation into dolls, are a product of Mexico and must be marked "Made in Mexico" (or words of similar meaning), in accordance with the marking statute, section 304, of the Tariff Act of 1930. Due to the varying nature of size, manufacture and packaging of various merchandise we do not recommend a specific size or location of labels in the marking of dolls, other than that they meet the requirements outlined above. It appears to be customary in the trade, however, to mark dolls with a sewn in label and/or hang tag which indicates the country of origin. We suggest that you contact your local import specialist for further guidance on acceptable methods of marking the dolls prior to importation.

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 Alice J. Wong at 212-466-5538.


Robert B. Swierupski

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