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NY H88002

February 27, 2002

CLA-2-94: RR:NC:2:227 H88002


TARIFF NO.: 9405.40.8000

Mr. Robert E. Burke
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
303 East Wacker Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, Illinois 60601

RE: The tariff classification, country of origin marking and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of solar outdoor lights from Mexico; Article 509

Dear Mr. Burke:

In your letter dated January 30, 2002, on behalf of Intermatic, Incorporated, you requested a ruling on the status of solar outdoor lights from Mexico under the NAFTA.

The articles in question are identified as solar outdoor lights used in a garden or around a home. Each solar light is comprised of a solar cap component from China and components produced in Mexico. The solar cap is made of a solar light panel connected to a light emitting diode (LED) mounted in a plastic housing. The cap imported into Mexico is classified under subheading 8541.40. The components manufactured in Mexico are produced by molding from plastic material such as pellets or chips and include the tiers, coupling, reflector, riser, globe and ground stake. The Mexican parts and a solar cap are combined in a package for importation into the United States as a complete but unassembled solar outdoor light.

The applicable tariff provision for the solar outdoor lights will be 9405.40.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for other electric lamps and lighting fittings, other. The rate of duty will be 3.9 percent ad valorem.

Each of the non-originating materials used to make the solar outdoor lights has satisfied the changes in tariff classification required under HTSUSA General Note 12(t)/94. The solar outdoor lights will be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all the applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

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.

The country of origin marking requirements for a "good of a NAFTA country" are also determined in accordance with Annex 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), as implemented by section 207 of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat 2057) (December 8, 1993) and the appropriate Customs Regulations. The Marking Rules used for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country are contained in Part 102, Customs Regulations. The marking requirements of these goods are set forth in Part 134, Customs Regulations.

Section 134.45(a)(2) of the regulations, provides that a “good of a NAFTA country” may be marked with the name of the country of origin in English, French or Spanish. Section 134.1(g) of the regulations, defines a "good of a NAFTA country" as an article for which the country of origin is Canada, Mexico or the United States as determined under the NAFTA Marking Rules.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41 (a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41 (a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

Applying the NAFTA Marking Rules set forth in Part 102 of the regulations to the facts of this case, we find that the solar outdoor lights imported in a complete but disassembled condition are goods of Mexico for marking purposes.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 181).

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 George Kalkines at 646-733-3028.


Robert B. Swierupski

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