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March 24, 1999

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 D89024


TARIFF NO.: 3921.19.0000

Ms. Luanne M. Ciaccio
Pride International, Inc.
2200 Broening Highway, Suite 241
Baltimore, MD 21224

RE: The tariff classification of cellular polyethylene sheet from Italy.

Dear Ms. Ciaccio:

In your letter dated March 8, 1999, on behalf of Connections International, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted a sample of cellular polyethylene sheet. The merchandise will be shipped in rolls of 600 square meters per roll.

The applicable subheading for the cellular polyethylene sheet will be 3921.19.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other plates, sheet, film, foil and strip...cellular...of other plastics. The rate of duty will be 6.5 percent ad valorem.

You also request information on country of origin marking requirements. You have not proposed any methods of marking the product, though you have indicated that each roll will be covered with plastic.

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.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

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 roll of polyethylene sheeting will remain in the plastic packaging until it reaches the ultimate purchaser, and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the sheeting by viewing the packaging, then marking of the plastic packaging would satisfy the country of origin marking requirements.

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. 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.

You have not submitted enough information for us to rule on the adequacy of any country of origin marking. If you wish a ruling on the acceptability of the marking, please submit enough details regarding the processing and sale of the sheet so that we can ascertain the ultimate purchaser of the sheet. Indicate whether the rolls will be sold to the ultimate purchaser in the plastic packaging, and indicate how you intend to mark the rolls or the packaging.

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 Joan Mazzola at 212-637-7034.


Robert B. Swierupski

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