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NY I88260

November 14, 2002

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 I88260


TARIFF NO.: 3923.10.0000

Mr. C.J. Erickson
Hodgson Russ Attorneys LLP
Carnegie Hall Tower
152 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of a plastic lighter box from China.

Dear Mr. Erickson:

In your letter dated November 4, 2002, on behalf of Zippo Manufacturing Company, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The sample submitted with your request is identified as a plastic lighter gift box. It consists of a two-part molded plastic black shell with the Zippo registered logo imprinted on the base and molded on the cover. The interior is shaped to house a slim-line lighter. The back of the container is designed to snap onto a multiple unit display case. The plastic boxes are imported empty and used as packaging containers for Zippo lighters manufactured in the United States. The empty lighter boxes will be imported in multiple units and shipped in cartons that will be marked “Made in China.”

The applicable subheading for the plastic lighter gift box will be 3923.10.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics: boxes, cases, crates and similar articles. The rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.

You also request a ruling that the gift boxes do not have to be individually marked with their own country of origin. Section 134.24(b) of the Customs Regulations provides that disposable containers, not designed for or capable of reuse, which are imported empty and packed and sold in multiple units, need not be individually marked with the country of origin. The marking requirements may be met by marking the outermost container which reaches the ultimate purchaser. Section 134.24(c)(1) of the Customs Regulations provides that when disposable containers or holders are imported by persons or firms who fill or package them with products they sell, these persons or firms are the ultimate purchasers of the containers or holders. In such a case, the containers may be excepted from individual marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D) as long as the outside wrappings or packages are marked to indicate the country of origin of the containers.

These lighter gift boxes are considered to be disposable containers. When imported empty they need not be individually marked provided the shipping containers in which they are imported are marked to indicate the country of origin and the Customs officers at the port of entry are satisfied that the shipping containers will reach the ultimate purchaser unopened.

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 Joan Mazzola at (646) 733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

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