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NY K83224

February 26, 2004
CLA-2-95:RR:NC:SP:225 K83224


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.0080

Mr. William Lesh
4305 Nordum Road
Everson, WA 98247

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of a “5 Inch Sailboat Hull” from India.

Dear Mr. Lesh:

In your letter dated February 9, 2004, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You submitted a sample of a brown boat hull made of wood that measures approximately ½ inch in height x 1-1/2 inches at its widest width x 5 inches in length. The hull has a pre-drilled circular hole on top that measures approximately 1/16 of an inch to anchor a mast and sails (not included). You indicate in your letter and in a subsequent phone conversation that the wood hull will be imported in bulk from India, assembled with the mast and sails that are made in the United States, retail packed in the United States, and sold as a toy boat.

Since the item which is the subject of this ruling will be repackaged after importation, it will be necessary to comply with the provisions of section 134.26, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.26), particularly those related to submission of a Certificate of Marking. 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 “5 Inch Sailboat Hull” is the consumer who purchases the product at retail.

The "country of origin" is defined in 19 CFR 134.1(b) 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' within the meaning of this part; however, for a good of a NAFTA country, the NAFTA Marking Rules will determine the country of origin." For tariff purposes, the courts have held that a substantial transformation occurs if a new and different article emerges having a distinctive name, character or use. AnheuserBusch Brewing Association v. The United States, 207 U.S. 556 (1908) and Uniroyal Inc. v. United States, 542 F. Supp. 1026 (1982).

In this case, the assembly process in the United States does not result in a substantial transformation. The assembled “5 Inch Sailboat” does not have a distinctive name, character or use different from the unassembled “5 Inch Sailboat Hull.”

Where imported articles will be repackaged in the U.S., the provisions of 19 CFR 134 are applicable. Section 134.26(a) provides that if an article subject to country of origin marking is intended to be repacked after its release from Customs custody, or the port director having custody of the article has reason to believe that the article will be repacked after its release, the importer shall certify to the port director that: 1) if the importer does the repacking, "he shall not obscure or conceal the country of origin marking appearing on the article, or else the new container shall be marked to indicate the country of origin of the article..." [emphasis added]; or 2) that if he does not repack the article he will give notice to subsequent purchasers or repackers of their obligations under section 19 U.S.C. 1304 and Part 134, Customs Regulations. The item should be marked “Assembled in the United States from parts made in the United States (sail/mast) and India (hull)."

Your sample is being returned as requested.

The applicable subheading for the “5 Inch Sailboat Hull” will be 9503.90.0080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Other toys; reduced-size ("scale") models and similar recreational models, working or not; puzzles of all kinds; parts and accessories thereof: Other: Other.” The rate of duty will be free.

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 Alice Wong at 646-733-3026.


Robert B. Swierupski

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