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NY I83759

June 28, 2002

CLA-2-87:RR:NC:MM:101 I83759


TARIFF NO.: 8708.99.8080

Mr. Brian F.Walsh
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
303 East Wacker Drive
Suite 1100
Chicago, Illinois 60601

RE: The tariff classification of a Fuel Tank Assembly from Germany

Dear Mr. Walsh:

In your letter dated June 18, 2002 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation.

You submitted photographs of a fuel tank assembly. The assembly in question consists of the fuel tank of a motor vehicle with hardware (assorted straps, clamps, pipes, tubes, and similar articles) for mounting the fuel tank to the chassis.

You state that the fuel tank assembly will be disassembled from completed motor vehicles in Germany. The motor vehicle cab and chassis will be imported into the United States separately from the assemblies that are removed from them. In addition, several other component parts will be imported in the same containers as the assemblies at issue in this request. These components are a front axle assembly, a rear axle assembly, a drive shaft assembly, a muffler assembly, a brake assembly, and a leaf spring assembly. The bodies and assemblies will then be assembled in the United States into complete motor vehicles and sold in the United States. You state that this assembly will not be sold as an “aftermarket” good in the United States.

The applicable subheading for the Fuel Tank Assembly 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 in response to your letter dated June 18, 2002 requesting a ruling on whether imported Fuel Tank Assemblies are required to be individually marked with the country of origin if it is later to be processed in the U.S. by a U.S. manufacturer. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

You state that the Fuel Tank Assemblies after they are imported into the United States do undergo a change of name, character, or use upon further processing in the United States. All of the assemblies in question are assembled with a body into a new article of commerce in the United States – a motor vehicle. Each individual assembly, as sold to the United States consumer, is subsumed in the motor vehicle being purchased. This is a change in both the name of the assemblies and their character. After their further processing, the assemblies are no longer fuel tank assemblies. Instead, they are fully functional in a motor vehicle. Further, their use also changes, you state, since as imported they cannot function in their ultimate role in the automobile. However, after they are processed, the assemblies are all used to fulfill one of the basic functions of a motor vehicle.

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. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d), defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. 19 CFR 134.1(d)(1) states that if an imported article will be used in manufacture, the manufacturer may be the ultimate purchaser if he subjects the imported article to a process which results in a substantial transformation of the article. The case of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98) (1940), provides that an article used in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article will be considered substantially transformed and that the manufacturer or processor will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the constituent materials. In such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked. See, 19 CFR 134.35.

In this case, the imported Fuel Tank Assemblies are substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser of the imported Fuel Tank Assemblies and under 19 CFR 134.35 only the containers which reach the ultimate purchaser are required to be marked with the country of origin "Made In Germany".

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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