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NY K82012

December 24, 2003
CLA-2-85:RR:NC:MM:109 K82012


TARIFF NO.: 8504.40.9570

Ms. Fusae Nara
Pillsbury Winthrop LLP
One Battery Park Plaza
New York, NY 10001-1490

RE: The tariff classification of a Solar Power Control System (Inverter) from Japan

Dear Ms Nara:

In your letter dated December 16, 2003, you requested a tariff classification and country of origin marking ruling on behalf of Sharp Electronic Corporation (“Sharp”).

The merchandise subject to this ruling is a Solar Power Control System (Inverter) for use in a small-scale photovoltaic (“PV”) solar power generation system. It is comprised of an inverter unit with a charge controller, a 12V deep-cycle lead battery, two soft copper cables sheathed in plastic 10 meters in length (“PV Cables”), and one soft copper cable sheathed in plastic 2.5 meters in length (“Battery Cable”). The purpose of the Solar Power Control System is to convert DC power into AC power.

Your letter states that all the components of the Solar Power Control System (Inverter) are manufactured in Japan except for the battery, which is manufactured in China and imported into Japan before being shipped to the U.S. The Solar Power Control System will be shipped in a single container containing the Solar Power Controller Inverter unit, battery, PV Cables and Battery Cable. The Solar Power Controller Inverter unit will marked “Made in Japan” and the battery will be affixed with a “Made in China” marking. The PV Cables and Battery Cable will not be marked with their country of origin, but will be packed securely in the container so as not to be removed prior to being purchased by the ultimate purchaser. The exterior of the container will be marked to read “Solar Power Control System Unit LN-S080E1, Solar Power Controller Made in Japan, Battery Made in China, Battery Cable Made in Japan, PV Cable Made in Japan”.

You questioned to know whether the proposed method of country of origin marking of the container, in which the Solar Power Control System (Inverter) is imported, is acceptable. A marked sample container was not submitted with your letter for review.

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, the ultimate purchaser of the Solar Power Control System (Inverter) is the consumer who purchases the product at retail.

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 such 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 Solar Power Control System (Inverter) by viewing the container, in which it is packaged, the individual Solar Power Control System (Inverter) would be excepted from marking under this provision.

The Solar Power Control System(s) (Inverter[s]), which is/are imported in a container that is 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 container in which the Solar Power Control System(s) (Inverter[s]) is/are imported and sold to the ultimate purchaser in lieu of marking the article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported Solar Power Control System (Inverter) provided the port director is satisfied that the article will remain in the marked container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser.

The applicable subheading for the Solar Power Control System (Inverter) will be 8504.40.9570 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Electrical transformers, static converters (for example rectifiers) and inductors Static converters: Other: Inverters.” The rate of duty will be 1.5 percent ad valorem.

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 Linda M. Hackett at 646-733-3015.


Robert B. Swierupski

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