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NY F85958

May 9, 2000

CLA-2-96:RR:NC:SP:221 F85958


TARIFF NO.: 9608.10.0000

Ms. Barbara Y. Wierbicki
Tompkins & Davidson, LLP
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036-8901

RE: The tariff classification of a wallet card tool from Taiwan.

Dear Ms. Wierbicki:

In your letter dated April 13, 2000, on behalf of Avon Products, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The sample submitted with your letter is identified as a wallet card tool, item # PP204579-KT 310. The product is a multi-purpose tool kit inside a case that is roughly the size and shape of a thick credit card. The card body, molded from plastics, measures approximately 3 1/4 inches by 12 1/8 inches, with a thickness of 1/8 inch. One edge of the card is scored with metric markings up to 7 1/2 cm. The reverse of that same edge is scored with markings up to 3 inches. Inserted into compartments in the card body are metal implements, including a knife blade, scissors, Phillips head screwdriver, nail file, tweezers and ball point pen. The tool kit is considered to be a composite good. General Rule of Interpretation 3 (c) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule provides that when no component in a composite good imparts the essential character, classification is in the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. In this case, that heading is the one which provides for ball point pens. The sample is being returned as you requested.

The applicable subheading for the wallet card tool will be 9608.10.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for ball point pens. The rate of duty will be 0.8 cent each plus 5.4 percent ad valorem.

You have indicated that the country of origin is Taiwan. Neither the sample wallet tool nor the box in which it is packaged is marked with the country of origin. The box is printed with the words “PANTENT (sic) PENDING: U.S.A., CHINA.”

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. The wallet card tool, or its container, must be marked to indicate Taiwan as the country of origin.

Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), deals with cases in which the words "United States," or "American," the letters "U.S.A.," any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appears on an imported article or its container, and those words, letters or names may mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser as to the actual country of origin. In such a case, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters, or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by “Made in,” “Product of,” or other words of similar meaning.

In order to satisfy the close proximity requirement, the country of origin marking must generally appear on the same side or surface in which the name or locality other than the actual country of origin appears. The marking “Made in Taiwan,” or “Product of Taiwan,” or other words of similar meaning, must appear in close proximity to and in comparable size lettering as the markings “U.S.A” and “China.”

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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