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NY G85503

January 19, 2001

MAR-2 RR:NC:1:102 G85503


Mr. J.F. Chester
Braumiller & Rodriquez, LLC
Post Office Box 1321587
Dallas, Texas 75313-1587

RE: Country of origin marking of valves to be assembled with other valves in the U.S.

Dear Mr. Chester:

In your letter dated December 13, 2000 you requested a ruling on an exception from the country of origin marking requirements for imported articles on behalf of your client Flow Design. The specific articles in question are identified as air vents and hose end drains used in the assembly of valves for heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Samples were submitted.

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 USC 1304.

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 the manufacturer 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. Pursuant 19 CFR 134.35, in such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked.

You request that the air vents and hose end drains be excepted from individual marking because they are substantially transformed by assembly operations performed by Flow Design, and that Flow Design is the ultimate purchaser of the imported vents and drains.

You indicate that at the Flow Design manufacturing facility the subject air vents and hose end drains are integrated into HVAC valves by being permanently secured to HVAC valve bodies with an industrial adhesive. Further, you state that no one in the U.S., other than Flow Design, will ever see unmarked air vents or hose end drains apart from the finished HVAC valve and that, unless manufactured into an HVAC valve, the vents and drains are useless pieces of pipe.

While we disagree that the air vents and hose end drains, which are clearly complete and functional valves in and of themselves, are “useless pieces of pipe”, we nonetheless find that they are substantially transformed into articles with a new name, character or use, when incorporated with other components to produce finished HVAC valves. Accordingly, based on your representations , Flow Design is the ultimate purchaser of the articles in question.

In accordance with 19 CFR 134.35, the subject air vents and hose end drains, provided that they are used by Flow Design in the assembly of HVAC valves and not sold separately in their condition as imported, are excepted from individual marking and only the outermost containers of the imported articles must be marked with country of origin.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 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 Kenneth T. Brock at 212-637-7026



Robert B. Swierupski

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