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NY H89971

April 4, 2002

CLA-2-96:RR:NC:SP:233 H89971


TARIFF NO.: 9603.40.4040

Mr. Mike Daly
Livingston International Trade Services Inc. 100 Walnut Street
Champlain, NY 12919

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of natural China bristle paintbrushes assembled in Canada.

Dear Mr. Daly:

In your letter dated March 27, 2002, on behalf of Nour Handcrafted Painting Tools, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise to be imported consists of the following natural China bristle paintbrushes:

Model Width

The brush heads will be produced in Vietnam from natural bristle from China. The brush heads will then be shipped to Canada where the process of affixing the brush handle to the brush head will be completed. A complete bill of materials for each model outlining the components, their origin and cost relative to the product has been submitted with your request.

The applicable subheading for the natural China bristle paintbrushes will be 9603.40.4040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Paint, distemper, varnish or similar brushes (other than brushes of subheading 9603.30); paint pads and rollers: Other: Natural bristle brushes. The general rate of duty will be 4% ad valorem.

You have also inquired as to the country of origin and marking requirements for the paintbrushes.

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.

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.

The country of origin of the paintbrushes is Vietnam and they must be marked to indicate Vietnam is the country of origin. The marking “Brush head made in Vietnam, brush assembled in Canada” would be acceptable.

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 Lawrence Mushinske at 646-733-3036.


Robert B. Swierupski

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