United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2000 NY Rulings > NY F89013 - NY F89070 > NY F89055

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY F89055

August 7, 2000

CLA-2-56:RR:NC:TA:351 F89055


TARIFF NO.: 5605.00.1000

Judy Kearney
Network Brokers International, Inc.
Airport Industrial Office Park
Building C-1D
145th Avenue & Hook Creek Blvd.
Valley Stream, NY 11581

RE: The tariff classification of gift-wrapping sets from China.

Dear Ms. Kearney:

In your letter dated June 20, 2000, on behalf of your client, Berwick Industries LLC, you requested a tariff classification ruling. You also asked whether or not the U.S.-manufactured ribbon would be eligible for duty-free entry upon its return, and also what the country of origin marking requirements are.

You submitted a sample of a clear acetate box, approximately 4” x 2¼” x 3½”, which opens with a top flap. Inside are the following:

Two “kegs” of metallized ribbon (self-wrapped, with no support), one glitter and one holographic, each approximately 2¼” tall. You describe them as 47cm x 16.76 meters. You state that the glitter ribbon is 75% polypropylene, 25% polyester, metallized extrusion, and the holographic ribbon is 100% extruded metallized polyester. You state that the ribbon is made in the USA, put up on kegs, and shipped to China.

Six bows of plastic strip, with the strip being greater than 5mm in width; the strip is extruded in the USA and shipped to China where the bows are formed.

Six paper gift tags, not printed, made in China.

You state that the sets will come in three color variations: all gold, all silver, and a red and green combination. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Tariff System provide guidance in the interpretation of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System at the international level. Explanatory Note X to General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(b) provides that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods that:
consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings; consist of articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repackaging.

Goods classifiable under GRI 3(b) are classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, which may be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the article. GRI 3(c) provides that when goods cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a) or 3(b), they are to be classified in the heading that occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration in determining their classification. In this case, no single component imparts the essential character, and the set will be classified in accordance with GRI 3(c).

In the instant case the applicable subheading for the gift wrapping sets will be 5605.00.1000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for metallized yarn . . . or strip or the like of heading 5404 or 5405, combined with metal . . . or covered with metal: metal coated or metal laminated man-made filament or strip or the like, ungimped, and untwisted . . . . The rate of duty will be 10.5%.

The next question to be addressed is the dutiability of the ribbon, which you state is of U.S. origin. In classifying sets, the first step is to determine whether the combination of articles qualifies as a set within the meaning of the tariff and the Explanatory Notes in the HTS. The next step is to classify the set under a single HTS heading by referring to the appropriate GRI. Then it is necessary to determine whether any of the items in the set are entitled to duty-free treatment under subheading 9801.00.10, HTS. A classification allowance is then made for the value of those articles which are classifiable under subheading 9801.00.10, HTS. The remainder of the items in the set are assessed duty at the Chapter 1-97, HTS, rate applicable to the article by which the entire set is classifiable under GRI 3(c) (whether or not such article is entitled to duty-free treatment under subheading 9801.00.10, HTS).

In the instant set, the article by which the entire set is classifiable under GRI 3(c), as stated above, is the ribbon, classifiable under 5605.00.1000, HTS, and dutiable at 10.5% ad valorem. The ribbon itself, however, would be classifiable under subheading 9801.00.10, HTS, if it satisfies the conditions and requirements of that subheading. Items which qualify for subheading 9801.00.10, HTS, treatment are separately classified and are not included in the appraised value of the remaining components.

The last issue to be addressed is country of origin marking. In your letter, you state that the ribbon is made in the U.S. and the bows and cards are made in China; you provide no details of the origin of the components of each other than to say that the bows “are formed in China from extruded ribbon produced and shipped by Berwick . . . in the U.S.A.” Our ruling will be based on these statements. Accordingly, the ribbon kegs are assumed to be of U.S. origin. However, the bows and the cards must be marked, “Made in China.”

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. §1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §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. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the gift-wrapping set is the consumer who purchases the product at retail.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. Accordingly, if Customs is satisfied that the bows and cards will remain in the acetate box until it reaches the ultimate purchaser and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the bows and cards by viewing the container in which it is packaged, the individual bows and cards would be excepted from marking under this provision.

If a good is determined to be an article of U.S. origin, it is not subject to the country of origin marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. §1304. Whether an article may be marked with the phrase "Made in the USA" or similar words denoting U.S. origin, is an issue under the authority of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). We suggest that you contact the FTC Division of Enforcement, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20508 on the propriety of proposed markings indicating that an article is made in the U.S.

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 Mitchel Bayer at 212-637-7086.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: