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NY I80102

April 29, 2002

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:N1:105 I80102


TARIFF NO.: 9020.00.6000

Mr. Joseph J. Kenny
J.F. Moran Co., Inc.
475 Douglas Pike
Smithfield, Rhode Island 02917

RE: The tariff classification and Marking of a gas mask from Mexico

Dear Mr. Kenny:

In your letter dated March 22, 2002, for North Safety Products, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The manual in the plastic bag with the sample Model 5500 states, in the introduction, that it is “intended to be used for respiratory protection against hazardous vapors, gases and/or particulate matter, depending on the air-purifying elements used and the contaminant concentration and/or toxicity; but only if there is sufficient oxygen present in the contaminated atmosphere to support life.” The import will cover the wearer’s mouth and nose and has two male screw connectors on both sides for the various air filter cartridges that may be attached. The filter cartridges will be shipped separately. The mask is held securely to the face by adjustable straps. Explanatory Notes II, Gas Masks, and (a) to Harmonized System Heading 9020 make it clear that it includes masks with replaceable filters.

We agree that the applicable subheading for the Half Mask Air Purifying Respirator will be 9020.00.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other breathing appliances and gas masks. The rate of duty will be 2.5 percent ad valorem.

22 CFR (Foreign Relations), Part 121 (United States Munitions List), Category XIV-c includes equipment for defense against chemical agents. Your import may be subject to an import permit requirement per 19 CFR 145.53 regarding the importation of munitions of war and related items. In particular, your importation may require for release from Customs the presentation of properly filled out Forms 6 and 6a from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. If you have any questions concerning the ATF Forms, you should contact them directly at 202-927-8320.

You specifically ask about the wording of and placement of the country of origin marking. Since you give no indication of the use of materials from any other country, we assume that the item is a product of Mexico under 19 CFR 102.11.

You state, “ the masks are sold to industrial customers in full case lots. The marking on the side of the carton and on the label for each individual mask states ‘made in/fabrique au/ hecho en/ Mexico’. A reading of section 134 of the Customs Regulations and the relevant portions of section 181 of the Customs Regulations lead to the conclusion that the marking of the outer carton and inner bags is sufficient to indicate to the ultimate consumer that the goods are made in Mexico. Also that the ‘made/fabrique/hecho’ is not confusing or misleading.”

Although we find no portions relevant to these issues in 19 CFR 181, we do believe that 19 CFR 134.45-a-2 is relevant in that it permits the use of French and Spanish country of origin marking on NAFTA goods and that 19 CFR 134.32-d applies in that it is reasonable to assume that the ultimate purchasers, although not necessarily the individual employees using them especially in large firms, will see the clear marking on the cartons and/or the individual, zip-lock type closure, plastic pouches, which is sufficient. You did not note it, but there are references to “Printed in USA” and addresses in “Cranston, RI” and “Toronto, Canada,” but no reference to Mexico, in the multi-paged manuals which will also be in the plastic pouches. However, the context of their appearance is not at all likely to mislead the ultimate purchaser due to the much larger Made in Mexico on the plastic pouch so the close proximity requirement of 19 CFR 134.46 does not apply.

The sample is acceptably marked as is.

The sample is being returned to you in a separate mailing.

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 J. Sheridan at 646-733-3012.


Robert B. Swierupski

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