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NY G84847

December 15, 2000

CLA-2-33:RR:NC:2:240 G84847


TARIFF NO.: 3307.49.0000

Ms. Cathy Petrus
International Trade
Limited Distribution Services
7 Limited Parkway
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068

RE: The tariff classification of Scented Stems ™ assembled in Guatemala

Dear Ms. Petrus:

In your letter dated November 27, 2000 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Samples of the Scented Stems ™and a ‘mock-up’ of the marketing and retail box were submitted with your inquiry. The Scented Stems ™ and ‘mock-up’ boards are being returned as requested by you. The Scented Stems™ are plastic sticks with a scented gel adhered to the top portion of the stick. The scented sticks are placed in a vase filled with silk flowers. The gel sticks will emit a pleasant scent to the flowers and air. You state in your letter that the components for this product will be sent to Guatemala for assembly. The plastic sticks and scented gel are of U.S. origin. The scented gel is a chemical mixture composed of a petroleum distillate mixture, gellant, fragrance oil and butylated hydroxy toluene. The chemical mixture is placed on the sticks, forming a gel that adheres to the stick. The five gel sticks are placed in a plastic holder and packed in a box for retail sale.

You contend that the assembly process of the U.S. components qualifies for partial duty exemption under subheading 9802.00.80. Subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, provides a partial duty exemption for:

Articles assembled abroad in whole or part of fabricated components, the product of the United States which (a) were exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape, or otherwise, and (c) have not been advanced in value or improved in condition abroad except by being assembled and except by operations incidental to the assembly process, such as cleaning, lubrication, and painting.

All three requirements of subheading 9802.00.80 must be satisfied before a component may receive a duty allowance. An article entered under this tariff provision is subject to duty upon the full cost or value of the imported article, less the cost or value of the U.S. components assembled therein, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of section 10.24, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.24).

Section 10.16(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(a)), provides that the assembly operations performed abroad may consist of any method used to join or fit together solid components, such as welding, soldering, riveting, force fitting, gluing, laminating, sewing, or the use of fasteners. The mixing or combining of liquids, gases, chemicals, food ingredients, and amorphous solids with each other or with other solid components is not regarded as an assembly. Section 19 CFR 10.16(a) expressly provides that the combining of chemicals with solids is an unacceptable assembly operation. The Scented Stems™ are not eligible for partial duty exemption under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS.

The applicable subheading for the Scented Stems™ will be 3307.49.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Preparations for perfuming or deodorizing rooms, including odoriferous preparations used during religious rites: Other. The rate of duty will be 6 percent ad valorem. The rate of duty in 2001 will remain the same.

Cosmetic and toiletry products may be subject to the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration. You may contact them at 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857, telephone number (301) 443-3380.

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 Stephanie Joseph at 212-637-7066.


Robert B. Swierupski

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