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NY J86841

August 22, 2003

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:2:230 J86841


TARIFF NO.: 4414.00.0000

Mr. R. Brian Burke
Rode & Qualey
55 West 39th Street
New York, NY 10018

RE: The tariff classification and marking of wooden picture frames from China

Dear Mr. Burke:

In your letter dated July 10, 2003, on behalf of your client, E.J. Footwear LLC, you requested a tariff classification and a marking ruling on wooden picture frames.

The ruling was requested on individually boxed wooden picture frames. Representative samples were submitted. The frames are rectangular or oval in shape and are available in a variety of sizes and finishes. The rectangular frames up to a size of 11” x 14” will be packaged with a clear thermoplastic picture cover, a cardboard easel back, metal mounting clips and an instruction sheet. The oval frames up to a size of 11” x 14” will be packaged with a cardboard easel back, metal mounting clips and an instruction sheet. All frames over 11” x 14” will contain mounting clips and an instruction sheet. The frames, with or without thermoplastic covers or easel backs, will be sold at retail to the ultimate purchaser in this form. The frames will be used to mount rectangular natural color portraits or oval canvas portraits.

The applicable subheading for the wooden picture frames including any backs, supports, mounting clips or covers will be 4414.00.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for wooden frames for paintings, photographs, mirrors or similar objects. The rate of duty will be 3.9 percent ad valorem.

In addition, you requested a ruling on whether the proposed marking of the picture frames satisfies the marking requirements in accordance with section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930. The frames, backings and fittings are all made in China. The thermoplastic covers are made in Japan and shipped to China to be added to the other parts of the frames. Each frame with its applicable backing, cover and fittings will be packaged in an individual plain cardboard box. The frame is marked on the back with an adhesive sticker printed with the words “Made in China.” After importation, your client’s customer, Olan Mills, a portrait studio supplier, will place an adhesive label showing the name and address of Olan Mills, a product bar code, a description of the size and type of frame and the country of origin marking “Made in China” on each individual box.

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 United States 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 United States. 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.”

The article being imported is a picture frame complete with the required back, cover and fittings. Except for the thermoplastic cover, the article is manufactured in China. The addition of the cover made in Japan does not effect the identity of the picture frame. The cover becomes an integral part of the picture frame and is not required to be separately marked with its own country of origin. The imported picture frames are correctly marked “Made in China.”

The proposed pressure sensitive sticker on the back of the frame is an acceptable method of marking (Section 134.44(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44(b)). The sticker is easy to find and will remain on the article until it is delivered to the ultimate purchaser. It is legible, conspicuous and permanent enough to meet the marking requirements.

The imported picture frame packed in an individual cardboard box is the type of article that a prospective purchaser would take out of the box to examine prior to purchase. At the time of importation, the individual cardboard box does not have the name of any country or locality on it. The marking on the article itself would satisfy the marking requirements (Section 134.24 (d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.24(d)).

However, since the customer proposes to attach a label containing an American address to the box prior to shipping a frame to the ultimate purchaser, it is appropriate that the label also clearly contains the country of origin (Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46)). We find that the proposed product label with the marking “Made in China” in close proximity to the American address to be an acceptable marking for the individual disposable cardboard box.

Marking the individual picture frames with “Made in China” stickers and attaching the proposed product labels described above to the immediate cardboard boxes satisfy the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and are acceptable country of origin markings for the imported wooden picture frames.

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise description as identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

This ruling is being issued under the assumption that the subject goods, in their condition as imported into the United States, conform to the facts and the description as set forth both in the ruling request and in this ruling. In the event that the facts or merchandise are modified in any way, you should bring this to the attention of Customs and you should resubmit for a new ruling in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2. You should also be aware that the material facts described in the foregoing ruling may be subject to periodic verification by the Customs Service.

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 Paul Garretto at 646-733-3035.


Robert B. Swierupski

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