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NY J84320

May 5, 2003

CLA-2-48:RR:NC:SP:234 J84320


TARIFF NO.: 4823.90.8600

Ms. Cecilia Castellanos
Western Overseas Corporation
1855 Coronado Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90804

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of protective packaging materials of paperboard, from Australia.

Dear Ms. Castellanos:

In your letter dated April 25, 2003, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Forcorners Pty. Ltd. (Australia).

Several representative samples of items identified as “corners” or “edgeboards” were submitted for our examination and are being returned to you as requested. Most of the samples consist of thick pieces of composite paperboard that have been bent into bracket-like profiles having an L-shaped cross-section. The remaining (2) samples are flat (non-bent) pieces with rounded edges. All of the samples appear to have an outer layer of paper that differs (in color or other characteristics) from the “core” material.

You have provided the following explanation of the nature and use of these articles:

The item to be imported is protective packaging which is used to protect the edges of cargo when banding is applied to secure cargo to a pallet. These profiles may be cut in various sizes or shapes to conform to the shape of the pallet or package. The corners are made of several layers of paperboard which are glued or laminated to each other. The applicable subheading for all of the above-described “corners” or “edgeboards” will be 4823.90.8600, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other (non-enumerated) articles of paper or paperboard. The rate of duty will be 0.5%.

You also ask whether it will be necessary to mark each item with the country of origin. In this connection, you state that the buyers would be aware of the country of origin and would be using the items as packaging materials in the course of shipping. You therefore ask whether marking only the export cartons would suffice.

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. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, however, the ultimate purchasers of the “corners” or “edgeboards” will be firms that use them to package and ship other merchandise.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of the article. Accordingly, if Customs is satisfied that the article will remain in its container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the article by viewing the container in which it is packaged, the individual article would be excepted from marking under this provision.

“Corners” or “edgeboards” which are imported in containers that are marked in the manner described above, are excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d). Accordingly, marking the outer containers in which the items are imported and sold to the ultimate purchaser in lieu of marking the article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking provided the port director is satisfied that the articles will remain in the marked containers until they reach the ultimate purchaser.

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 Carl Abramowitz at 646-733-3037.


Robert B. Swierupski

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