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NY C82024

December 9, 1997

CLA-2-85:RR:NC:1:108 C82024


TARIFF NO.: 8527.19.5035

Mr. Nick Van Nice
Schenker International Inc.
2402 S. 18th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85034

RE: Tariff classification and country of origin marking of an AM/FM foldable headphone radio from Hong Kong.

Dear Mr. Van Nice:

This is in response to your letter dated November 19, 1997, on behalf of your client, Sean Gunderson, requesting a ruling on the tariff classification of an AM/FM headphone radio, and whether the proposed marking is an acceptable method of country of origin marking for the imported merchandise if another marking appears on the article which is a country or locality other than the actual country of origin of the article. An unmarked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

The merchandise resembles a headphone set. It consists of an AM/FM radio receiver housed in a mini headphone configuration. The product has two earphones and a plastic head strap. The earphones are hinged from each end of the head strap, making the entire radio foldable. The radio receiver is in one of the earphones and is equipped with a collapsable antenna. Each earphone contains a 32 ohm, 27mm Mylar speaker. The product is operated by two AA or equivalent batteries. It is not combined with any other apparatus or clock.

The applicable subheading for the AM/FM foldable headphone radio will be 8527.19.5035, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "[r]eception apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy or radiobroadcasting, whether or not combined, in the same housing, with sound recording or reproducing apparatus or a clock: [r]adiobroadcast receivers capable of operating without an external source of power...[o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther: FM only or AM/FM only." The duty rate for the remainder of 1997 will be 4.2 percent ad valorem. In 1998, the duty rate is scheduled for a reduction to 3.6 percent ad valorem.

You also inquire about the proper country of origin marking and describe the importer's intentions in this matter. The importer plans to affix sports logos such as "Phoenix Suns," "Phoenix Open," and "A Diamondbacks" ("A" referring to Arizona) to one of the earphones. The logos appear to be paper stickers and the lettering in the place names is a minimum of 3mm in height. The importer plans to have the name of the country of origin molded into the plastic casing of the earphones. He would like to mold the marking on a different face (bottom or side edge) of the earphone to avoid covering the marking with the logo. The importer plans to sell the radios to sports promoters who will give the radios away to fans at sporting events. You are seeking a ruling on the size and proximity of the marking.

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.

Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), deals with cases in which the words "United States," or "American," the letters "U.S.A.," any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appears on an imported article or its container, and those words, letters or names may mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser as to the actual country of origin. In such a case, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters, or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," Product of," or other words of similar meaning.

It is the opinion of this office that the non-origin locality reference affixed to the article as described would not mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser as to the actual country of origin of the article. Therefore, the special marking requirements of Section 134.46 are not triggered, and the origin marking as proposed by the importer only needs to satisfy the general requirements of permanency, legibility and conspicuousness under 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR part 134.

The proposed marking of the imported AM/FM foldable headphone radio, as described above, satisfies the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported with no special requirements of size or location.

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 Harvey Kuperstein at 212-466-5672.


Robert B. Swierupski

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