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NY J86227





July 8, 2003

MAR-2 RR:NC:MM:101 J86227

CATEGORY: MARKING

Mr. Ralph Garcia
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
6400 Katella Avenue
Cypress, California 90630-5208

RE: COUNTRY OF ORIGIN MARKING OF IMPORTED AUTOMOTIVE COMPONENTS OF STAMPED STEEL

Dear Mr. Garcia:

This is in response to your letter dated June 13, 2003 requesting a ruling on whether imported automotive components of stamped steel 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 Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. currently imports certain automotive components, which are purchased from and manufactured in Canada by SKD Automotive in Milton, Ontario. The imported components are shipped from SKD Automotive to Gerstenlager in Wooster, Ohio for further fabrication. The final fabricated components are used as service parts for Mitsubishi vehicles.

The parts in question are cross members, fender shields, brackets, reinforcements and extensions of stamped steel. Currently, SKD Automotive marks each individual component with the country of origin by adhering a circular sticker, bearing the phrase “Made in Canada” to each component.

Gerstenlager is the sole recipient of the imported components and has full knowledge that the country of origin is Canada. Gerstenlager receives the imported components and incorporates them into complete body assemblies for Mitsubishi vehicles. The manufacturing process results in a substantial transformation of the original components. The final products are body assemblies, which include fender shields, wheel housings, hoods, headlamp supports, fenders, and quarter panels.

You further state that the manufacturing process includes spot welding and line welding operations. However, the country of origin stickers interfere with the manufacturing operation and must be removed. The imported components are all used for assembly purposes by Gerstenlager and are not sold as individual components. Gerstenlager is the last user of these parts in the United States in the forms in which they are imported and for marking purposes may be considered the “ultimate purchaser.” As the stamped steel automotive components will be manufactured into body assemblies for Mitsubishi vehicles, resulting in a new and different article of commerce, you believe that an exemption is warranted.

You are requesting an exemption from marking of each of the individual components with the country of origin. You further state that the outermost containers will continue of be marked appropriately.

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 automotive components of stamped steel - cross members, fender shields, brackets, reinforcements and extensions are substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser of these imported automotive components of stamped steel 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 Canada".

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 Robert DeSoucey at 646-733-3008.

Sincerely,

Robert B. Swierupski
Director,

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