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March 10, 1999

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:102 D87794


TARIFF NO.:8481.90.3000

Ms. Wendy H. Pate
C.H. Robinson International, Inc.
1640 Phoenix Boulevard (Suite 260)
College Park, Georgia 30349-5563

RE: The tariff classification and marking of a cast iron fire hydrant base from China.

Dear Ms. Pate:

In your letter dated February 17, 1999 you requested a tariff classification and marking ruling on behalf of your client Southland Marketing.

The item in question is a cast iron fire hydrant base. Descriptive information with an illustration was submitted.

The fire hydrant base is an iron casting imported exclusively for use in the manufacture of a fire hydrant. The fire hydrant is a hand operated valve consisting of a valve body and an internal valve mechanism for controlling the flow of water. The spherical cast iron base forms the inlet port of the hydrant and is an integral component of the valve body.

The applicable subheading for the fire hydrant base will be 8481.90.3000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for parts of hand operated valves of iron or steel. The rate of duty will be 5 percent ad valorem.

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. 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. The case of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98) (1940), provides that an article used in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article will be considered substantially transformed and that the manufacturer or processor will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the constituent materials. In such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked. See, 19 CFR 134.35.

In this case, we find that the imported fire hydrant base will be substantially transformed because it will be used in the manufacture of a fire hydrant. Accordingly, the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser of the hydrant base and only the containers in which the bases are imported are required to be 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 CFR 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 Kenneth T. Brock at 212-637-7026.


Robert B. Swierupski

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