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NY F83625

April 13, 2000

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:238 F83625


Scott A. Cohn, Esq.
Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn, PLLC
1675 Broadway, 25th Floor
New York, NY 10019


Dear Mr. Cohn:

This is in response to your letter dated February 22, 2000, requesting a ruling, on behalf of your client, Monsanto Company (“Monsanto”), on the country of origin marking requirements for imported herbicide preparations, such as Roundup PRODry™ and Roundup UltraDry™ (“Roundup™”), formulated with N-(Phosphonomethyl)glycine ammonium salt (CAS-114370-14-8) as the active ingredient.


Monsanto manufactures N-(Phosphonomethyl)glycine ammonium salt, a non-aromatic organo-phosphorus herbicide, in the United States. This compound serves as the active ingredient in their Roundup™ line of herbicide preparations. For the record, pursuant to a lab report issued to this office by the New York Customs laboratory, it is our determination that N-(Phosphonomethyl)glycine ammonium salt is properly classifiable within subheading 2931.00.9030, HTS, which provides for "[O]ther organo-inorganic compounds: Other: Other: Organo-phosphorus compounds.” We also find (again, for the record) that the subject Roundup™ herbicide preparations, formulated by combining N- (Phosphonomethyl)glycine ammonium salt with various inert ingredients, are properly classifiable within subheading 3808 30.5000, HTS, which provides for “[I]nsecticides , herbicides, antisprouting products and plant-growth regulators, , put up in forms or packings for retail sale or as preparations or articles : Herbicides, antisprouting products and plant-growth regulators: Other: Other.”

With the exception of one ingredient, namely, Diethanolamine (CAS-111-42-2), which will also be obtained from foreign suppliers in Mexico and the European Community, the ingredients used in the manufacture of N-(Phosphonomethyl)glycine ammonium salt will be of U.S. origin. We note that Diethanolamine was ruled by Customs, in PC 848433, to be properly classifiable within subheading 2922.12.0000, HTS, which provides for “[D]iethanolamine and its salts.” Diethanolamine is used as a starting material by Monsanto to produce the first of three chemical intermediates - losing its own chemical identity in the process - in the production of N- (Phosphonomethyl)glycine ammonium salt. The (Phosphonomethyl)glycine ammonium salt is then exported to Canada or Mexico for use as the active ingredient in formulating various Roundup™ herbicide preparations. After formulation in Canada or Mexico, the herbicide preparations are put up into various types of containers for shipment to, and retail sale in, the United States. In other circumstances, N-(Phosphonomethyl)glycine ammonium salt may be produced in the United States, and then formulated with various inert ingredients (also in the United States) to produce various Roundup™ herbicide preparations. These prepared herbicides would then be exported to Canada or Mexico solely to be put up in retail packaging for shipment (back) to and sale in the United States.

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.

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 134.45(a)(2) of the Customs Regulations, provides that "a good of a NAFTA country” may be marked with the name of the country of origin in English, French or Spanish. Section 134.1(g) of the regulations, defines a "good of a NAFTA country" as an article for which the country of origin is Canada, Mexico or the United States as determined under the NAFTA Marking Rules.

The rules for determining when, for marking purposes, the country of origin of an imported good is one of the parties to "NAFTA" are set forth in Part 102, Customs Regulations.

Part 102 of the Customs 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 regulations, sets forth the required hierarchy for determining country of origin for marking purposes.


Applying the NAFTA Marking Rules set forth in Part 102 of the Customs Regulations to the facts of this case, we find that, pursuant to Sections 102.1(e), 102.11(a)(3) and 102.20(f) of the Customs Regulations, the N-(Phosphonomethyl)glycine ammonium salt is a “good of a NAFTA country” whose country of origin is the United States. Furthermore, pursuant to Sections 102.1(e), 102.11(a)(3), 102.11(b)(1) and 102.20(f), we find that the imported Roundup™ formulated herbicides are goods of the United States for marking purposes. Accordingly, pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304, they will not be required to have any country of origin marking when imported into the United States. Finally, we agree that, pursuant to Section 102.17(c) of the Customs Regulations, in the case where Monsanto both manufactures and formulates the subject Roundup™ herbicides in the United States, and then merely exports the formulated herbicides to Canada or Mexico to be put up in retail packaging for shipment (back) to and sale in the United States, the imported products are goods of the United States for marking purposes.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 181).

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 Harvey Kuperstein at 212-637-7068.


Robert B. Swierupski

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