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NY F87396

June 7, 2000

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 F87396


TARIFF NO.: 3926.30.5000; 8708.29.5060

Mr. Wayne Brownworth
USF Worldwide, JFK
790 Busse Road
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

RE: The tariff classification of sun visor components from Taiwan and China.

Dear Mr. Brownworth:

In your letter dated May 9, 2000, on behalf of Winford Industries Company, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The samples submitted with your letter are components used in the assembly of an auxiliary sun visor. The visor will be attached to the existing sun visor in a car or truck and used to reduce sun glare through an extended area of the windshield. Part A is a yellow sheet of transparent acrylic plastic, manufactured in Taiwan. The sheet measures approximately 15 inches in length, 4 3/8 inches in height, and 1/8 inch in thickness. The sheet has rounded corners, and two predrilled holes. This part has the essential character of the complete and finished auxiliary visor. Part B consists of two pieces, a clip and hinge, manufactured in China. The clip and hinge are mounting hardware which will be attached to the auxiliary visor. Part C is a sub-assembled part manufactured in China. The subassembly consists of the clip and hinge described above, assembled together by means of a metal screw and nut, connected to a “VELCRO” type strap which will be used to secure the auxiliary visor to the existing visor. After importation, one acrylic sheet (Part A) will be assembled with either two sets of clips and hinges (Part B) or two subassemblies (Part C). Some minor U.S. components will also be added. The samples are being returned as you requested.

The applicable subheading for the acrylic visor sheet, Part A, will be 8708.29.5060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705other parts and accessories of bodiesother. The rate of duty will be 2.5 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the clip and hinge, Part B, as well as for the clip/hinge/strap subassembly, Part C, will be 3926.30.5000, HTS, which provides for other articles of plasticsfittings for furniture, coachwork or the like, other. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem..

You have also inquired about the country of origin marking requirements for the components. 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 determining whether the combining of parts or materials constitutes a substantial transformation, the issue is the extent of operations performed and whether the parts lose their identity and become an integral part of the new article. Assembly operations which are minimal or simple, as opposed to complex or meaningful, will generally not result in a substantial transformation.

In this case, the imported clips and hinges, and clip/hinge/strap subassemblies, lose their identity and become an integral part of the complete visor. They are substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing. Therefore, the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser of the imported clips, hinges, and clip/hinge/strap subassemblies, and under 19 CFR 134.35 only the containers which reach the ultimate purchaser are required to be marked to show China as the country of origin.

However, the acrylic sheet, Part A, is not substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing. In the condition as imported, the acrylic sheet has the essential character of the complete visor. Since the assembly of the acrylic sheet with mounting hardware is merely a minor one which leaves the identity of the imported sheet intact, the purchaser of the complete and assembled auxiliary visor is regarded as the ultimate purchaser of the acrylic sheets. Accordingly, the sheets are required to be individually marked to indicate Taiwan as the country of origin.

Because the sheets will not reach the ultimate purchasers until after they are assembled with other components and individually packaged by the importer, an acceptable alternative to the above marking requirements would be to follow the procedures outlined in 19 CFR 134.34. Section 134.34, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.34), provides that an exception may be authorized in the discretion of the port director under 19 CFR 134.32(d) for imported articles which are to be repacked after release from Customs custody under the following conditions (1) The containers in which the articles are repacked will indicate the origin of the articles to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S.; (2) The importer arranges for supervision of the marking of the containers by Customs officers at the importer's expense or secures such verification, as may be necessary, by certification and the submission of a sample or otherwise, of the marking prior to the liquidation of the entry.

If your client elects to utilize this marking alternative, approval of the port director and adherence to the above procedures would be necessary. Assuming that the port director is satisfied that the imported acrylic sheets will be repacked in the manner described above, and that the other conditions set forth in 19 CFR 134.34 are met, the port director may authorize an exception under 19 CFR 134.32(d). In that case, only the outermost import shipping containers for the acrylic sheets would have to be marked with the country of origin at the time of entry.

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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