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NY I82935

June 28, 2002

CLA-2-87:RR:NC:MM:101 I82935


TARIFF NO.: 8708.99.8080

Ms. Angela Williams
U.S. Direct, Inc.
2828 Old Hickory Boulevard #1415
Nashville, Tennessee 37221

RE: The tariff classification of an SB-1 for motor vehicles from China

Dear Ms. Williams:

In your letter dated June 6, 2002 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You submitted a sample of a motor vehicle item called the SB-1. You state that this product is used to check the oil in engines “For that time when you don’t have a rag”. You state that it is made of two major components. A recycled polyester pad with a grommet and a plastic clip with an attachable ring. The polyester pad is used to wipe the oil from the dipstick of an engine in order to check the oil level. It can be reused many times. The plastic clip is used to attach the pad to a point under the hood of a car or close to the engine so that the pad is readily accessible.

The applicable subheading for the SB-1 will be 8708.99.8080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705: Other parts and accessories: Other: Other: Other: OtherOther. The rate of duty will be 2.5% ad valorem.

This is also in response to your letter dated June 6, 2002 requesting a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements for the imported SB-1 which is assembled from U.S. components in China. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

You state that the recycled polyester material is manufactured in the United States and will be shipped to China in rolls. The Chinese factory will cut the pad and attach the grommet, ring and plastic clip. They will package the item in a paper package and return it to the United States.

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.

The "country of origin" is defined in 19 CFR 134.1(b) as "the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the 'country of origin' within the meaning of this part; however, for a good of a NAFTA country, the NAFTA Marking Rules will determine the country of origin." For tariff purposes, the courts have held that a substantial transformation occurs if a new and different article emerges having a distinctive name, character or use. AnheuserBusch Brewing Association v. The United States, 207 U.S. 556 (1908) and Uniroyal Inc. v. United States, 542 F. Supp. 1026 (1982).

In this case, the assembly process does result in a substantial transformation. The assembled SB-1 does have a distinctive name, character or use different from the unassembled SB-1 (rolled polyester material manufactured in the U.S. will be shipped to China where it will be cut to shape and the grommet, ring, and plastic clip will be attached), and therefore is a good of China for marking purposes. Accordingly, it will be required to have country of origin marking pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304 when imported into the United States.

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 Robert DeSoucey at 646-733-3008.


Robert B. Swierupski

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