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NY F87002

June 6, 2000

MAR-2 RR:NC:1:102 F87002


Mr. Donald S. Simpson
Barthco Trade Consultants, Inc.
7575 Holstein Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19153

RE: Country of origin marking of castings for irrigation pumps from China

Dear Mr. Simpson:

In your letter dated May 12, 1999 you requested a ruling on an exception from the country of origin marking requirements for imported articles on behalf of your client Southland Metals.

The article in question is an iron casting, identified as part number HH20, to be imported by Southland Metals for use exclusively by American Turbine in the production of irrigation pumps. In the United States, each of the castings is assembled with other components to produce a completed irrigation pump. In letters submitted with your request, American Turbine indicates that the castings are used strictly in the assembly of complete pumps and are not resold as separate parts for after market consumption. It is also indicated that American Turbine is aware that China is the country of origin of the imported articles.

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 USC 1304.

In your letter you request that the castings be excepted from individual marking as provided for by section 134.32(h), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(h))., because your client’s customer, American Turbine, is the ultimate purchaser and is aware of the country of origin of the imported merchandise. Section 134.32(h) provides that articles for which the ultimate purchaser must necessarily know the country of origin, by reason of the circumstances of their importation or by reason of the character of the articles, even though they were not marked to indicate their origin, are excepted from individual country of origin marking.

The "circumstances of importation" for a 19 CFR 134.32(h) exception refers to a situation where the importer is the ultimate purchaser of the imported article and there is a direct contract with the foreign supplier in which the supplier insures that the order will be filled only with articles manufactured in a named country. Customs has held in rulings that the importer must be the ultimate purchaser of the imported article and have direct contact with the foreign supplier to qualify for the 19 CFR 134.32(h) exemption. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the castings is not the importer and has no direct contact with the foreign supplier. Consequently, the 19 CFR 134.32(h) exception is not available.

Pursuant to section 134.35, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.35), an imported article that is substantially transformed in the U.S. is excepted from individual country of origin marking and only the outermost containers of the imported articles must be marked with country of origin. An article is substantially transformed if it is “so processed in the U.S. that it loses its identity in a tariff sense and becomes an integral part of a new article having a new name, character and use.” U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Company, Inc., 27 CCPA 267 (1940).

In accordance with the above decision, we find that the imported castings, when incorporated with other components to produce irrigation pumps, are substantially transformed into articles with a new name, character or use.

In accordance with 19 CFR 134.35, American Turbine is the ultimate purchaser of the castings imported by Southland Metals. The castings are excepted from individual marking so long as the port director at the port of entry is satisfied that they are imported in properly marked containers and the ultimate purchaser will receive the castings in these containers.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 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 Kenneth T. Brock at 212-637-7026



Robert B. Swierupski

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