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 > 2001 NY Rulings > NY G86433 - NY G86533 > NY G86435

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY G86435

February 12, 2001

MAR-2 RR:NC:3:353 G86435


Mr. David M. Murphy
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP 245 Park Avenue
33rd Floor
New York, NY 10167-3397


Dear Mr. Murphy:

This is in response to your letter dated January 17, 2001, on behalf of Dooney and Bourke, Inc., requesting a ruling on classification and whether imported components of handbags are required to be individually marked with the country of origin if they are later to be processed in the U.S. by a U.S. manufacturer. Photographs of the components and the finished items were submitted with your letter for review.

The components are identified as items SLOOP270, SSDST271/2/3/4/5, SSTAB270, SSDTB270, STBLP270, S104270B, S104271B, S104270A, S104271A, S104272A, S104273A, SDBLG270, SSDTB277, STABS277, SPLTB270 and SDSTG277. All items are made of leather and are dedicated as components for handbags. Some of the items have metal attachments at the ends. Items S104270B, S104271B and SPLTB270 are leather holders (pockets), and items S104270A, S104271A, S104272A and S104273A are leather panels with holders (pockets) and a zipper compartment. You state that the items are subassemblies that will be assembled or otherwise permanently affixed to a main handbag component (i.e. the body of the handbag).

Please note that this ruling assumes that these items are not imported in the same shipment with other components that would form an unassembled, incomplete or unfinished handbag. This ruling does not apply to shipments that constitute an unassembled, incomplete or unfinished handbag.

The applicable subheading for the items SLOOP270, SSDST271/2/3/4/5, SSTAB270, SSDTB270, STBLP270, S104270B, S104271B, S104270A, S104271A, S104272A, S104273A, SDBLG270, SSDTB277, STABS277, SPLTB270 and SDSTG277 will be 4205.00.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Other articles of leather or of composition leather: Other: Other.” The rate of duty will be Free.

You state that the carton holding these items (subassemblies) will be marked “Made in China” when entering the United States. In the U.S.A., the components will be substantially transformed into completed handbags. You request an exemption from marking the individual items under 19 CFR 134.35.

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 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 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. 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 he 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. In such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked. See, 19 CFR 134.35.

In this case, the imported components for handbags are substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser of the imported components and under 19 CFR 134.35 only the containers which reach the ultimate purchaser are required to be marked with the country of origin “Made in China.”

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 Reidlinger at 212-637-7084.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: