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NY D84881

December 17, 1998

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 D84881


TARIFF NO.: 3925.90.0000

Mr. Eric Johnson
Fritz Companies/Tulsa
5445 N. Bird Creek Avenue
Catoosa, OK 74015

RE: The tariff classification of plastic curtain tie backs and finials from South Africa.

Dear Mr. Johnson:

In your undated letter, received in this office on November 20, 1998, on behalf of Universal Convertors & Importers, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The samples provided with your letter are described as "hold-backs" and finials. The products are composed of a plastic resin with chalk filler, molded in various decorative shapes. The hold-backs, or curtain tie-backs, incorporate one to three brass nuts in the back. They will be sold with metal stud-like fastening devices which are designed to be mounted to the wall by means of screws. The fastening devices incorporate a long stem with a threaded head. The threaded head screws into the brass nut in the hold-back. The stem acts as a spacer to keep the hold-back away from the wall, allowing the curtains to be draped behind the hold-back and thus held away from the door or window opening. The finial is a multi-purpose article which may be used as a tie-back, hook or decorative end piece. Embedded in the finial is a metal wood screw by which it can be permanently affixed to a wall or screwed into a curtain rod.

The applicable subheading for the hold-backs and finials will be 3925.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for builders' ware of plastics, not elsewhere specified or included . . . other. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

You have stated that the hold-backs will be sold in a box including the hold-back and its corresponding stud-type mounting hardware. You state that the product will reach the ultimate consumer in this box, which will be marked with the country of origin. A sample marked box was not included with your request. The finials are imported individually marked with paperboard hang tags which are imprinted with the legend, "Made in R.S.A."

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.

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations {19 CFR 134.41(b)}, the country of origin marking is considered to be conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is 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 is the consumer who purchases the hold-backs and finials at retail.

You propose marking the goods with the legend "Made in R.S.A." You stated in a phone conversation that there is insufficient room for the words "Made in the Republic of South Africa." The abbreviation "R.S.A." is not an acceptable abbreviation for the Republic of South Africa. However, it is not necessary to include the words "Made in" when there is no reference to a location other than the country of origin. The tags may be marked either "South Africa" or "So. Africa."

Section 134.44(c), Customs Regulations {19 CFR 134.44(c)}, states that if articles are marked with tags, the tag must be attached in a conspicuous place and in a manner which assures that, unless deliberately removed, it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser. The hang tag on the sample finial is attached by means of a plastic locking strip. This type of marking will satisfy the country of origin marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. Accordingly, if Customs is satisfied that the article will remain in its container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin by viewing the container in which it is packaged, the individual articles would be excepted from marking under this provision.

Hold-backs which are imported in containers that are permanently, conspicuously and legibly marked with the country of origin are excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d). Accordingly, marking the container in which the hold-back is imported and sold to the ultimate purchaser in lieu of marking the hold-back itself is an acceptable country of origin marking provided the port director is satisfied that the hold-back will remain in the marked container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser.

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 Joan Mazzola at 212-466-5580.


Robert B. Swierupski

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