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March 1, 1999

MAR-2 RR:NC:TAB:354 D87016


TARIFF NO. 3926.20.1020; 4901.10.0040; 9801.00.1097

Mr. John A. Bessich
Follick & Bessich
33 Walt Whitman Road Suite 204
Huntington Station, NY 11746


Dear Mr. Bessich

This is in response to your letter dated January 15, 1999, on behalf of Cosmair, Inc., requesting a ruling on country of origin marking and classification for plastic gloves and a printed instruction sheet. You submitted samples of the items.

According to your letter, a pair of disposable PVC gloves will be made and exported from China. Initially they will be folded within a U.S. printed instruction sheet (app. 11"x11") of recycled paper. Subsequently, an identical instruction sheet will be printed in China and exported to the U.S. with a pair of the above described gloves folded within.

The gloves and printed instruction sheets will be imported in bulk by Cosmair for exclusive use as part of their retail packed LÂ’Oreal hair coloring kit. The balance of the kit consists of USA made products and packaging. The various components (5 including the gloves & instruction sheet) are identified along with the Cosmair name and US address on the retail box. The country of origin of the gloves and instruction sheets are not disclosed on the retail package or on the individual items themselves.

The applicable subheading for the gloves will be 3926.20.1020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for articles of apparel and clothing accessories (including gloves): gloves: seamless: other, disposable. The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the instruction sheet printed in China will be 4901.10.0040, HTS, which provides for printed books, brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter in single sheets, whether or not folded, other than reproduction proofs. The rate of duty will be free.

The U.S. printed instruction sheets will be eligible for the duty exemption under subheading 9801.00.1097, HTS, which provides for the free entry of U.S. products that are exported and returned without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any means while abroad. For entry purposes, the value of the U.S. printed sheets may therefore be broken out under subheading 9801.00.1097.

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 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. 19 CFR 134.1(d)(1) states that if an imported article will be used in manufacture, the manufacturer may be the ultimate purchaser if he subjects the imported article to a process which results in a substantial transformation of the article.

We believe that in this scenario, however, that the exported gloves and instruction sheets are not substantially transformed by the repackaging in the U.S. T. D. 91-7 provides that as a general rule, material or components of a set or kit that are not substantially transformed by their inclusion in a set of mixed or composite goods, must be individually marked with their country of origin. However, you have asserted that the cost of the gloves and instruction sheet is less than 1% of the total cost of the kit. In this case, based upon prior administrative rulings, the amount is de minimis.

Therefore, the imported gloves and printed instruction sheets are excepted from country of origin marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304. The U.S. Produced retail packaging into which the gloves and sheets are inserted after importation, together with U.S. products, also need not be marked to indicate the country of origin of the gloves and paper instruction sheets.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 177).

A copy of this 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 Brian Burtnik at 212-637-7083.


Robert B. Swierupski

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