United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1998 NY Rulings > NY D83236 - NY D83295 > NY D83257

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY D83257

October 20, 1998

CLA-2-96:RR:NC:SP:233 D83257


TARIFF NO.: 9603.40.4040

Mr. Robert Petrek
Golden Mermaid Inc.
3130 Zaharias Drive
Orlando, FL 32837

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of paint brushes with Chinese bristles assembled in Holland.

Dear Mr. Petrek:

In your letter dated October 5, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise to be imported consists of paintbrushes which are assembled in Holland. The brush components and their countries of origin are as follows:

Bristles- China
Ferrule- extruded plastic with the plastic extrusion process taking place in
The Netherlands (Holland) or metal ferrule produced in Italy
Wooden Handle - shaped and painted in Germany Epoxy- product of The Netherlands (Holland)

The bristles are shipped from China to Holland where they are sorted, weighed into the desired quantity for an individual brush and then one end of the bristles are trimmed so that the tops of the bristles are completely level and flat. The brushes are then inserted into a ferrule to hold them in the desired shape and a convex object is inserted into the ferrule, forcing the exterior ends of the bristles to take on the desired curved shape. The interior ends of the bristles are then shaved and the ferrule is filled with epoxy. A wooden handle is painted to include the manufacturer's information, a logo glued in place and a hang-up hole is drilled. The wooden handle is then inserted into the epoxy and allowed to set. Loose bristles are removed, the individual brush is shrink wrapped, and sets of 6 or 12 are boxed.

The applicable subheading for the paintbrushes 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.

Natural bristle paintbrushes from China may be subject to antidumping duties. We suggest you write to the following address for information concerning this issue prior to importation:

Office of Antidumping Investigations
Import Administration
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce
14th Street and Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20230

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 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d), defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the imported paintbrushes is the consumer who purchases the product at retail.

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 Holland 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 and the paintbrushes must be marked to indicate that China is the country of origin.

Regarding your country of origin marking, you may add "Assembled in Holland" as long as the paintbrushes are marked to indicate China as the country of origin.

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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: