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NY I85487

October 3, 2002

CLA-2-34:RR:NC:SP:237 I85487


TARIFF NO.: 3406.00.0000

Mr. Damian Caya
2637D South Moore Drive
Lakewood, Colorodo 80227

RE: Tariff classification, country of origin and duty status of South African candles under the AGOA.

Dear Mr. Caya:

In your letter dated September 12, 2002 you requested a binding ruling on the tariff classification, country of origin marking requirements and duty status under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for candles that will be made in South Africa from wax imported from China.

Candles that are pillar shaped (3-1/2”D x 3-1/2 to 9”H), sphere or oval shaped (3-1/2”D x 3-1/2 to 9”H) and cube or rectangle shaped (3-1/2”L x 3-1/2”W x 3-1/2 to 9”H) will be handcrafted in South Africa from wax imported from China. The candles will consist of a hard wax outer shell filled with soft candle wax. The candles will be hand molded, carved and painted with various African designs, including tribal mask or elephant silhouettes, tiger or zebra stripes and leopard or tortoise spots.

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 134.1(b), Customs Regulations {19 CFR 134.1(b)}, defines “country of origin” as the country of manufacture, production or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S. 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 the marking laws and regulations. For country of origin marking purposes, a substantial transformation of an imported article occurs when it is used in manufacture, which results in an article having a name, character, or use differing from that of the imported article (19 CFR 134.35).

Based upon the information provided, Chinese wax will be substantially transformed into South African candles by molding, South African wicks, carving and painting. Therefore, the candles will be required to be marked as products of South Africa pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304.

The applicable subheading for the hand-crafted candles molded, carved and painted with various African designs will be 3406.00.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for candles, tapers and the like. The rate of duty is free.

Products from South Africa and other beneficiary countries may be eligible for preferential tariff duty treatment under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) upon compliance with all applicable regulations (HTSUS General Note 16). However, articles classifiable under subheading 3406.00.0000, HTSUS, which are the products of South Africa and other countries eligible for general or normal trade relation (NTR) rates, are unconditionally duty free (HTSUS General Note 3).

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 control number indicated above should be provided with entry documents filed at the time merchandise is imported. For any questions on the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Frank Cantone at 646-733-3038.


Robert B. Swierupski

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