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June 16, 1999

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:SP:225 E82321


TARIFF NO.: 9505.90.6000

Mr. Anthony Cappelletti
United States Brokerage, Inc.
343 N. Wood Dale Road, Suite 201-D
Wood Dale, Illinois 60191

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of a costume mask from Mexico, Article 509

Dear Mr. Cappelletti:

In your letter dated May 3, 1999, received in this office on May 17, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Ehfar Imports.

The “Mexican Wrestler Mask”, for which you have submitted a sample, is a textile mask which covers the entire head. It is intended that the wearer will be recognized as a wrestler character. The mask is made of sequined material that is decorated with fiery appliques. The mouth and nose are open while black mesh sheathing covers the eyes.

According to your letter, the mask will be manufactured in Mexico of materials of either Mexican or unknown origin. It will, allegedly, be used as a decoration for the home or purchased as a keepsake. Your sample is being returned as requested.

The applicable subheading for the “Mexican Wrestler Mask” will be 9505.90.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, including magic tricks and practical joke articles; parts and accessories thereof: other: other. The rate of duty will be free.

With regards to your inquiry on the proper country of origin marking requirements, Section 304 of the 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 C.F.R. Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. §1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §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.

The country of origin marking requirements for a "good of a NAFTA country" are also determined in accordance with Annex 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), as implemented by section 207 of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103?182, 107 Stat 2057) (December 8, 1993) and the appropriate Customs Regulations. The Marking Rules used for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country are contained in Part 102, Customs Regulations. The marking requirements of these goods are set forth in Part 134, Customs Regulations.

Section 134.1(b) of the regulations, defines "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 this part; however, for a good of a NAFTA country, the NAFTA Marking Rules will determine the country of origin.” (Emphasis added).

Part 102 of the interim regulations, sets forth the "NAFTA Marking Rules" for purposes of determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country for marking purposes. Section 102.11 of the interim regulations, sets forth the required hierarchy for determining country of origin for marking purposes.

Based upon the facts presented, and pursuant to Section 102.11(a), the country of origin for the mask will be Mexico, whether the good is manufactured in Mexico of Mexican materials or whether it is produced there from textiles of foreign origin. This decision assumes that all the applicable requirements of Section 102.11(a) have been satisfied.

You have stated that a label indicating the country of origin will be sewn into the mask, however, the submitted sample was not marked in any manner. If you wish to receive a ruling on a specific method of marking, you should supply Customs with a sample of the proposed marking. If it is your desire to explore specific means of placement for the label, then we would recommend discussing the matter with your local import specialist team.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181). This ruling letter is binding only as to the party to whom it is issued and may be relied on only by that party.

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 Alice J. Wong at 212-637-7028.


Robert B. Swierupski

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