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HQ 562065

May 9, 2001

MAR-05 RR:CR:SM 562065 TJM


Steve Saari
Operations Department
Whittlestone, Inc.
PO Box 2237
Antioch CA 94531

RE: Marking of breast pumps; 19 USC § 1304; 19 CFR § 134.43(e).

Dear Mr. Saari:

This is a response to your letter dated February 22, 2001, requesting a ruling on country of origin marking of breast pumps assembled in Mexico with U.S. and foreign components. Our response follows.


Whittlestone, Inc. (“Whittlestone”) distributes and sells breast pumps used by nursing mothers in the United States. These breast pumps are assembled in Mexico with components from the United States and other countries. The assembled breast pump is composed of 103 parts, of which 93 are made in the U.S. On March 26, 2001, you stated by telephone that the pump is powered by an electric motor and that the 10 non-U.S. components are produced in Italy, China, and Thailand. The pump’s packaging will be marked with the country of origin.

You propose to mark the product’s packaging as “Assembled in Mexico with U.S. components.” You request a ruling on that proposed marking.


What is the proper country of origin marking for breast pumps assembled in Mexico with U.S. and foreign components?


General Marking Requirements

As you are aware, Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 1304), provides that unless excepted, every article of foreign origin imported into the United States 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. 19 CFR part 134 implements the country of origin marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. § 1304.

Section 134.1(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR § 134.1(d)), provides that the “ultimate purchaser” is generally the last person in the United States who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. Congressional intent in enacting 19 U.S.C. § 1304 was “that the ultimate purchaser should be able to know by an inspection of the marking on the imported goods the country of origin of which the goods is the product. The evident purpose is to mark the goods so that at the time of the purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will.” United States v. Friedlander & Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 297 at 302; C.A.D. 104 (1940).

Country of Origin

The country of origin marking requirements for a "good of a NAFTA country" are determined in accordance with Annex 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), as implemented by 19 C.F.R. § 102.11. Section 102.11, Customs Regulations (19 CFR § 102.11), sets forth the required hierarchy for determining country of origin for marking purposes. Specifically, section 102.11(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR § 102.11(a)) states, in pertinent part, that:

[t]he 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 set out in section 102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section, and all other requirements of these rules are satisfied.

Because the product at issue is not wholly obtained or produced in Mexico and because the product is not produced exclusively from domestic material, section 102.11(a)(3) is applicable. Pursuant to section 102.11(a)(3), the country of origin of a good is the country in which each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in section 102.20. Section 102.20, Customs Regulations (19 CFR § 102.20), sets forth the specific tariff classification changes and/or other operations, which are specifically required in order for country of origin to be determined on the basis of operations performed on the foreign materials contained in a good.

In the instant case, the breast pumps are classifiable in subheading 8413.50.0090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). See New York Ruling (NY) C81231, dated November 20, 1997. Therefore, the change in tariff classification must be made in accordance with section 102.20(p), Section XVI: Chapters 84 through 85, subheading 8413.11 – 8413.82, HTSUS, which states, in pertinent part, that:

A change to subheading 8413.11 through 8413.82 from any other subheading, including another subheading within that group.

This means that each foreign material (non-Mexican components in this case) incorporated in the breast pump must come from a different subheading than 8413.50, HTSUS. In the instant case, based on the information provided, it appears that the components including the electric motor are classifiable under a subheading other than 8413, thereby undergoing the specified change in tariff classification. Therefore, the country of origin of the product in the instant case for marking purposes is Mexico.

Marking Requirements

As for marking requirements, section 134.43(e), Customs Regulations (19 CFR § 134.43(e)), states in pertinent part, that:

Where an article is produced as a result of an assembly operation and the country of origin of such article is determined under this chapter to be the country in which the article was finally assembled, such article shall be marked, as appropriate, in a manner such as the following: (1) Assembled in (country of final assembly); (2) Assembled in (country of final assembly) from components of (name of country or countries of origin of all components); or (3) Made in, or product of, (country of final assembly).

In the instant case, because the breast pump is assembled in Mexico from components of U.S. and other foreign origin, section 134.43(e)(2) is applicable. Where, as in this case, the country of assembly is the country of origin of the article, there is no requirement that the country of origin marking include the origin of the components utilized in the foreign assembly. However, your proposed marking would only identify the origin of the U.S.-made components and not the Italian, Chinese, or Thai components.

In HRL 560933, this office ruled that where U.S. components and other foreign components were used to assemble the final product in a third country and the importer wishes to identify the origin of the components, the appropriate marking is “Assembled in [country X] from components of U.S. and foreign origin.” Therefore, the proposed marking, “Assembled in Mexico with U.S. components” is not acceptable in this case because some components originate in China, Thailand, and Italy. Rather, a marking such as “Assembled [or Made] in Mexico of U.S. and foreign components” would be acceptable.


Based on the information provided and pursuant to 19 CFR 102.21(c)(2) and (e), the country of origin of the product is Mexico. For country of origin marking purposes, because the product at issue is assembled with components from the U.S., Italy, China, and Thailand, a country of origin marking such as “Assembled [or Made] in Mexico of U.S. and foreign components” is acceptable.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time the merchandise is entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


John Durant

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