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NY H84267

August 13, 2001

CLA-2-82:RR:NC:N1:113 H84267


TARIFF NO.: 8211.10.0000; 8213.00.9000

Ms. Pilar Dorfman
E. Besler & Company
P.O. Box 66361
Chicago, IL 60666-0361

RE: The tariff classification of a knife set from China

Dear Ms. Dorfman:

In your letter dated July 13, 2001, on behalf of LTD Commodities, Incorporated, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The sample you submitted is a 14-piece knife set in a wooden storage block. The set includes 4 steak knives, 2 paring knives, 1 serrated paring knife, 1 chef knife, 1 butcher knife, 1 bread knife, 1 boning knife, 1 utility knife, 1 carving fork, and 1 pair of kitchen scissors. All pieces are made of stainless steel and have plastic handles. The value of the scissors is $5.52 per dozen.

The applicable subheading for the knife set will be 8211.10.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for knives with cutting blades, serrated or not (including pruning knives), other than knives of heading 8208, and blades and other base metal parts thereof, sets of assorted articles. The rate of duty is the rate of duty applicable to that article in the set subject to the highest rate of duty. In this case, the rate of duty of the scissors, 5.1 cents each plus 5.1 percent ad valorem under 8213.00.9000, will be the highest and will therefore apply to the whole set.

Please note that the sample you sent is not legally marked with the country of origin. The engraved word “China” appears at the head of the tang of the blade. However, the word “Germany” appears engraved prominently in large black letters in the center of the blade. 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.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, Section 134.43(a) provides that except for goods of a NAFTA country, knives, among other articles, shall be marked legibly and conspicuously by die stamping, cast-in-the-mold lettering, etching (acid or electrolytic), engraving, or by means of metal plates which bear the prescribed marking and which are securely attached to the article in a conspicuous place by welding, screws, or rivets. Your method of marking is thus acceptable.

However, because a reference to Germany appears on the containers and on the blades of the imported knives when they are imported into the U.S., it is necessary to consider the necessity for additional marking. 19 C.F.R. §134.36(b) provides that an exception from marking shall not apply to any article or retail container bearing any word letters, names, or symbols described in section 19 C.F.R. §134.46 or 19 C.F.R. §134.47 (e.g. geographic references which imply that article was made or produced in a country other than actual country of origin). The purpose of this requirement is to prevent the possibility of misleading or deceiving the ultimate purchaser of an article as to the actual origin of the imported good. 19 C.F.R. §134.46 provides that in any case in which the words ``United States,'' or ``American,'' the letters ``U.S.A.,'' any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appear on an imported article or its container, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by ``Made in,'' ``Product of,'' or other words of similar meaning. (134.46 Marking when name of country or locality other than country of origin appears.)

Therefore, a marking "Product of China," appearing next to the reference to Germany in the same type-size would be acceptable. However, the marking, simply "China" on the tang of the blade, and a lack of country of origin marking on the container is not acceptable in this case.

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 James Smyth at 212-637-7008.


Robert B. Swierupski

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