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NY F87621

June 19, 2000

MAR-2 RR:NC:1:117 F87621


Mr. Jack Alsup
Alsup & Alsup, Inc.
P.O. Box 1251
Del Rio, TX 78841


Dear Mr. Alsup:

This is in response to your letter dated May 22, 2000 on behalf of MAASS FLANGE CORP. requesting a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements for pipe/tube fittings of steel. Photos were submitted with your letter for review.

Types 304/304L and 316/316L stainless steel billets, classified under HTS subheading 7218.99.00, produced in Germany are sent to the United States where they are cut to required weight and forged to produce flanges, a type of pipe/tube fitting. The rough forged flanges produced in the United States, classified under HTS subheading 7307.21.10, are then shipped to Mexico. In Mexico, these rough forged flanges are machined to finished size/final dimensions and bolt holes are drilled. The finished flanges, classified under HTS subheading 7307.21.50, are marked with all required information to identify each piece and are shipped back to the United States.

The rough forged flanges are originating goods under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) under the rules set forth in General Note 12, HTSUS.

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 102.11, Customs Regulations, sets forth the required hierarchy for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country for marking purposes. Section 102.11 (a) states that the country of origin of a good is the country in which: (1) the good is wholly obtained or produced; (2) the good is produced exclusively from domestic materials; or (3) each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification as set forth in section 102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section. In this case the change in tariff classification must be made in accordance with section 102.20 (n), Section XV: Chapters 72 through 83, heading 7301-7307 which requires “A change to heading 7301 through 7307 from any other heading, including another heading within that group.”

The rough forged flanges are initially classified under heading 7307 and remain classified under heading 7307 after the processing operations performed in Mexico. There is no tariff classification change within the requirements of section 102.20.

Section 102.11(b) states that where the country of origin cannot be determined under paragraph (a), the country of origin of the good: (1) is the country of origin of the single material that imparts the essential character of the good. Noting section 102.18(b), it is the U.S. origin forged steel flange which imparts the essential character of the finished steel flange. For country of origin marking purposes, the country of origin of the finished steel flange that has been machined in Mexico is the United States. Because the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 apply only to articles of “foreign origin”, these steel flange fittings need not be marked up entry into the United States.

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 Paula Ilardi at 212-637-7016.


Robert B. Swierupski

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