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NY J81294

March 21, 2003

MAR-2 RR:NC:1:102 J81294


Mr. Daniel Gluck
Serko & Simon LLP
Customs & International Trade Law
1700 Broadway
New York, NY 10019


Dear Mr. Gluck:

This is in response to your letter dated February 19, 2003 requesting a ruling on behalf of your client Eaton. The issue raised is whether country of origin marking is required on imported components used in the manufacture of tire valves. Information detailing the manufacturing process and illustrations of the valves and its components were submitted for review.

You describe the imported components as a “snap-in body” and a “truck stem body” used in the manufacture of snap-in and truck stem tire valves. The tire valves are manufactured by Eaton in the United States from the foreign valve bodies and a number of U.S. components. The completed snap-in valve is used with automobile tires and represented by part numbers T-12, T-13, T-14 and T-18. The truck stem valve is used with truck tires and represented by part numbers vs-900-571W, vs-900-572-W, vs-900-573W and vs-099-574W.

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 USC 1304.

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 the manufacturer subjects the imported article to a process which results in a substantial transformation of the article. An article used in manufacture that 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. Pursuant 19 CFR 134.35, in such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked.

In your submission you indicate that Eaton imports tire valve bodies solely for use in the manufacture and assembly of complete tire valves. Upon importation the valve bodies are received by Eaton and assembled together with components of U.S. origin into complete valves, which are then inspected and tested. You are requesting that the foreign valve bodies be excepted from individual marking because they are substantially transformed by operations performed in the United States by Eaton, and that Eaton is the ultimate purchaser of the imported articles. Further you indicate that the imported valve bodies are never sold in their condition as imported as spare or replacement parts.

Based on the information provided we find that the subject valve bodies are substantially transformed into articles with a new name, character or use, when subjected to manufacturing, assembly, and testing to produce finished valves. Accordingly, Eaton is the ultimate purchaser of the foreign components.

In accordance with 19 CFR 134.35, because the valve bodies are used by Eaton in the production of completed valves and not sold separately in their condition as imported, the valve bodies are excepted from individual marking. Only the outermost containers of the imported articles must be marked with country of origin.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 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 Kenneth T. Brock at 646-733-3009.


Robert B. Swierupski

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