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 H82968 - NY H83024 > NY H83011

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY H83011

July 20, 2001

MAR-2 RR:NC:1:117 H83011


TARIFF NO.: 7307.99.5015

Mr. Joseph Macon
Americas Trading
P.O. Box 305
Malaga, WA 98828

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of steel pipe nipples from various countries.

Dear Mr. Macon:

This is in response to your letter dated February 19, 2001 requesting a ruling on the tariff classification and country of origin marking requirements for pipe, tube or pipe fittings of iron or steel. Two representative samples were submitted with your letter for review.

The products to be imported are carbon steel welded threaded pipe nipples. The nipples range from ¼ inch to 2 inches in diameter and from 1 inch to 6 inches in length. They may be black or galvanized. One sample measures approximately 1 ¼ inches in length and is fully threaded (“close” nipple). The other sample measures approximately 1 7/8 inches in length and is threaded 5/8 inch on each end.

The proper tariff classification of steel pipe nipples was the subject of HQ ruling 951940 dated July 31, 1992. Information provided by the plumbing trade and fittings industry indicated that there is uniformity in regarding cut-to-length steel pipe sections, whether threaded or not, up to 12 inches in length, as pipe fittings and not tubes or pipes. Customs therefore ruled that steel pipe nipples measuring up to 12 inches in length are provided for in heading 7307, the provision for tube or pipe fittings of iron or steel.

The applicable subheading for the carbon steel pipe nipples will be 7307.99.5015, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for tube or pipe fittings (for example, couplings, elbows, sleeves), of iron or steel, other, other, other, of iron or nonalloy steel, nipples. The general rate of duty will be 4.3 percent ad valorem.

You state that each size and length of nipple is packed in individual boxes with generally 25 to 200 pieces per box. You ask whether marking the box with the country of origin will satisfy the marking requirement.

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.

19 U.S.C. 1304(c)(1), requires that all pipe (iron, steel, stainless steel), tube and pipe fittings (steel, stainless steel, chrome-moly steel or cast or malleable iron) shall be marked to indicate the proper country of origin by one of five methods, die stamping, cast-in-mold lettering, etching, engraving, or continuous paint stenciling.

19 U.S.C. 1304(c)(2), provides that if, because of the nature of an article, it is technically or commercially infeasible to mark by one of the five prescribed methods, the article may be marked by an equally permanent method of marking or in the case of small diameter pipe, tube or pipe fittings, by tagging the containers or bundles.

In HQ ruling 559778 dated July 29, 1996, it was held that fully threaded or “close” nipples could be marked by paint stenciling. Nipples that are threaded on both ends can be etched, engraved or paint stenciled on the unthreaded portion without affecting their structural integrity. In the case of small diameter fittings (having a nominal diameter of 1/4 inch or less), tagging the bundles or containers will be acceptable.

Except for small diameter fittings having a nominal diameter of ¼ inch or less, the subject pipe nipples are required to be individually marked with the country of origin by die-stamping, cast-in-mold lettering, etching, engraving, or paint stenciling.

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 Paula Ilardi at 212-637-7016.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: