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NY F87097

June 8, 2000

CLA-2-69:RR:NC:2:227 F87097


TARIFF NO.: 6912.00.4890

Mr. Reginald Williams
A.N. Deringer, Inc.
48 Customs Loop
Houlton, ME 04730

RE: The tariff classification, country of origin marking, and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of ceramic coasters and trivets from Canada; Article 509

Dear Mr. Williams:

In your letter dated May 15, 2000, on behalf of Knob Hill Gallery, Inc., you requested a ruling on the status of ceramic coasters and trivets from Canada under the NAFTA. Samples are being returned as requested.

The samples submitted are square-shaped ceramic coasters and trivets that measure approximately 4 ¼ by 4 ¼ inches and 5 ¾ by 5 ¾ inches, respectively. They feature a backing of cork and a laminated exterior with printed picturesque designs. It is noted that the exterior of the coaster depicts a home-like setting on a hill encircled with the wording “Thank you for reading beyond the words,” while the exterior of the trivet depicts a backyard scene with children encompassed with the wording “It takes a village to raise a child.”

It is stated that the ceramic tile portion of these items, manufactured in Brazil, is then shipped to Canada where it is backed with cork of Canadian origin. In Canada, it is also decorated on the exterior with printed laminating material in noting that the laminating material originates in the United States, while the printed designs are of Canadian origin. Further, the packaging, consisting of the cardboard box and plastic lid, are manufactured in Canada with the printing on the box also performed in Canada. The marking of the boxes indicates “Made in Canada.”

The applicable tariff provision for the ceramic coasters and trivets will be 6912.00.4890, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for other ceramic tableware, kitchenwareother than of porcelain or china: other, other. The rate of duty will be 9.8 percent ad valorem.

The merchandise does not qualify for preferential treatment under the NAFTA because one or more of the non-originating materials used in the production of the goods will not undergo the change in tariff classification required by General Note 12(t)/69, HTSUSA.

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.

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).

Section 134.1(j) of the regulations, provides that the "NAFTA Marking Rules" are the rules promulgated for purposes of determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country. 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. Section 134.45(a)(2) of the 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.

You state that the imported ceramic coasters and trivets are processed in a NAFTA country "Canada" prior to being imported into the U.S. Since "Canada" is defined under 19 CFR 134.1(g), as a NAFTA country, we must first apply the NAFTA Marking Rules in order to determine whether the imported ceramic merchandise (coasters and trivets) is a "good of a NAFTA country", and thus subject to the NAFTA marking requirements.

Part 102 of the 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 regulations to the facts of this case, we find that the imported ceramic merchandise, consisting of coasters and trivets, is a good of Brazil for marking purposes, thereby precluding this merchandise from being marked “Made in Canada.”

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 George Kalkines at 212-637-7073.

Should you wish to request an administrative review of this ruling, submit a copy of this ruling and all relevant facts and arguments within 30 days of the date of this letter, to the Director, Commercial Rulings Division, Headquarters, U.S. Customs Service, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20229.


Robert B. Swierupski

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