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NY E88998

December 8, 1999

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 E88998


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.9880

Mr. Jiro M. Wada
Seino America, Inc.
8728 Aviation Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90301

RE: The tariff classification of notebook covers from China.

Dear Mr. Wada:

In your letter dated November 15, 1999, on behalf of Pen-Tab Industries, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A sample was provided with your letter. The cover is composed of polypropylene plastic sheeting. In its imported condition, the cover, which is approximately rectangular, has two rounded corners, as well as holes punched in it for spiral binder wire and a three-hole ring binder. After importation, the cover will be used in the manufacture of a spiral notebook by joining the cover to a metal spiral binder, a paper front label, a paper two pocket section, 100 sheets of lined filler paper and a cardboard back cover, all of which are of Unites States origin. The covers will be imported under the following item numbers: T240420K, T240500K, T240520K, T240530K, T534000K, T564000K and T664400K.

The applicable subheading for the plastic cover will be 3926.90.9880, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other articles of plastics, other. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem. The rate of duty will remain unchanged in 2000.

You have also inquired about the country of origin marking requirements. 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, the imported plastic covers are substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser of the imported covers and under 19 CFR 134.35 only the containers which reach the ultimate purchaser are required to be marked with the country of origin "China".

You have also asked about the country of origin marking requirements of the completed spiral notebook. The complete notebook is a product of the United States and is not subject to the marking regulations. Therefore, it is not necessary to mark the notebook with the country of origin.

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 212-637-7034.


Robert B. Swierupski

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