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NY H88512

March 4, 2002

CLA-2-96:RR:NC:SP:221 H88512


TARIFF NO.: 9608.10.0000

Ms. Camille Montante
150-20 132nd Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11413

RE: The tariff classification of a “massage pen” from China.

Dear Ms. Montante:

In your letter dated February 6, 2002, on behalf of Publishers Clearing House, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A sample was provided with your letter. The product is a ball point pen that through battery operated vibration can also be used to massage tight muscles and provide relief from stress. As you requested, the sample is being returned.

The applicable subheading for the massage pen will be 9608.10.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for ball point pens. The rate of duty will be 0.8 cents each plus 5.4 percent ad valorem.

Though the pen itself is not marked with the country of origin, the side of the box in which the pen is packaged is marked “Made in China.” A domestic address is printed on the back of the box. No country of origin marking appears on the back of the box.

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.

Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), deals with cases 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, appears on an imported article or its container, and those words, letters or names may mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser as to the actual country of origin. In such a case, 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.

In order to satisfy the close proximity requirement, the country of origin marking must generally appear on the same side(s) or surface(s) in which the name or locality other than the actual country of origin appears. Though the side panel of the box is marked “Made in China,” the back of the box is the more prominent side, since it is larger, and includes illustrations and instructions on the operation of the massage pen.

The current marking does not satisfy the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is not an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported pen. The words “Made in China” or “Product of China” must appear on the same side of the box and in equal size lettering as the domestic address.

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 Joan Mazzola at 646-733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

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