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NY K84331

April 1, 2004
CLA-2-30:RR:NC:2:238 K84331


TARIFF NO.: 3006.50.0000; 3605.00.0030; 9014.10.9000; 3920.62.0010; 9208.90.0080; 9031.80.8085; 9013.80.2000; 4820.10.2050; 3406.00.0000; 9609.10.0000; 9605.00.0000; 4202.92.3031

Ms. Missy Forey
Burton Snowboards
80 Industrial Parkway
Burlington, VT 05401

RE: The tariff classification and country or origin marking of a snowboarding Vital Kit (Style No. R50463010) exported from China

Dear Ms. Forey:

In your letter dated March 11, 2004, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample, designated as Vital Kit (Style No. R50463010), consists of a black nylon carrying pouch with a zipper closure, textile handle, textile belt loop, and an adjustable textile strap. A folded hangtag, measuring 4½” x 3”, and an additional (smaller) hangtag, measuring 3½” x 2½”, both made of coated paperboard, are securely affixed to the pouch’s handle by a detachable, metal chain. One side of the smaller hangtag has an ID card printed on it, while the other side has an “avalanche danger scale” printed on it. The pouch contains the following items: a first aid kit, put up in its own zippered pouch, containing, inter alia, triangular bandages, sterile gauze pads, adhesive tape, antiseptic towelettes, rubber gloves, and a pair of scissors; two boxes of waterproof matches; a blister-packed lensatic compass; an emergency (thermal) blanket sealed in transparent, plastic film; a plastic whistle; a crystal card-inclinometer sealed in transparent plastic film; a folding magnifier put up in a paperboard box secured by a piece of tape; a waterproof notebook; a wax-filled tin with a metal lid; a pencil; and a mending kit, which contains thread, a sewing needle, buttons, and a safety pin. You state in your letter that “The kit is put up for retail sale just as it was sent to your office without any additional packaging.”

In your letter, you characterize the subject product as “assembled kits.” § 10.12(b) of the Customs Regulations defines “assembly” as ‘[t]he fitting or joining together of fabricated components.” However, you have presented no evidence documenting any bonafide assembly operation(s) carried out in China. Rather, we are of the opinion that the “assembly” you allude to involves nothing more than packing the individual components of the kit together into the pouch.

Regarding the crystal card-inclinometer: the sample consists of a clear piece of plastic (“card”), measuring about .1 x 4 x 6 inches. The card has a 90º arc, divided into 1º increments, inscribed on it; 6-inch and 10-centimeter scales, and two different patterns of grid lines spaced 1 mm and 2 mm apart, respectively. The card comes with a cord for attaching a plumb through a hole in the card, for use in measuring terrain angles. Clinometers are cited in Harmonized System Explanatory Note I-A-11 to 90.31. We consider the clinometer function either to impart the essential character to the item or to appear last among the classifications equally meriting consideration in providing same. General Rule of Interpretation 3(c) noted. With respect to the emergency blanket, we note that, although composed of a metallized plastic film, you did not provide the name of the type of plastic this blanket is composed of. However, emergency blankets of this type are often composed of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Consequently, the classification (below) for the emergency blanket is based on the assumption that it is composed of metallized PET film.

With respect to the lensatic compass, we note that the packaging states, inter alia, “Lensatic Features,” and “Mirror Sighting.” However, the sample has no mirror on the inside of the case, unlike, for example, the Brunton 27LU Trooper, described on Brunton’s website as having a “sighting mirror.” Also, the directions on the back of the package do not refer to a mirror, so we assume that there is none. The plastic case has a slit with a thin, metal wire bisecting it to assist in sighting, as well as a small magnifier on a flip-up hinge.

You opine in your letter that “[t]he essential character of the snowboarding vital kit is the first-aid kit and (therefore, the subject product) would be classified [pursuant to Rule 3(b) of the General Rules of Interpretation, HTS] under 3006.50.0000, First-aid boxes and kits.” We disagree. In our opinion, the subject product does not meet the criteria for treatment as a set under GRI 3 analysis. Under GRI 1, all of the articles comprising the subject kit must be classified separately under their respective headings in the HTSUS. Headquarters Ruling Letter 950678 dated December 30, 1991. New York Ruling Letter J86419 dated July 1, 2003.

The applicable subheading for the first aid kit will be 3006.50.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “First-aid boxes and kits.” The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the waterproof matches will be 3605.00.0030, HTS, which provides for “Matches with natural wood stems.” The rate of duty will be free. For your information, the importation into the United States of white phosphorus matches is prohibited under 19 CFR §12.34. In accordance with 19 CFR §12.34(b), invoices covering matches imported into the United States shall be accompanied by a certificate of official inspection of the Government of the country of manufacture in the following form: CERTIFICATE OF OFFICIAL INSPECTION OF MATCHES: I, (Name), do hereby certify that I am the (Official title), that according to the chemical analysis made by me the matches described below do not contain white or yellow phosphorus and that therefore they are not white phosphorus matches as defined in the Act of Congress of the United States of America approved April 9, 1912.

The applicable subheading for the lensatic compass will be 9014.10.9000, HTS, which provides for “Direction finding compasses: Other: Other: Other.” The rate of duty will be 2.9 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the emergency blanket, provided it is made of metallized PET film, will be 3920.62.0010, HTS, which provides for “Other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics, noncellular and not reinforced, laminated, supported or similarly combined with other materials: Of polycarbonates, alkyd resins, polyallyl esters or other polyesters: Of poly(ethylene terephthalate): Metallized PET film.” The rate of duty will be 4.2 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the plastic whistle will be 9208.90.0080, HTS, which provides for “Music boxeswhistles, call horns and other mouth-blown sound-signaling instruments: Other: Other.” The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the crystal card - inclinometer will be 9031.80.8085, HTS, which provides for “Other instruments, appliances and machines: Other: Other.” The rate of duty will be 1.7 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the folding magnifier will be 9013.80.2000, HTS, which provides for “Hand magnifiers, magnifying glasses, loupes, thread counters and similar apparatus.” The rate of duty will be 6.6 percent ad valorem. Articles classifiable under subheading 9013.80.2000, HTS, which are products of India, may be entitled to duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) upon compliance with all applicable regulations. The GSP is subject to modification and periodic suspension, which may affect the status of your transaction at the time of entry for consumption or withdrawal from warehouse. To obtain current information on GSP, check our Web site at www.cbp.gov and search for the term "GSP".

The applicable subheading for the waterproof notebook will be 4820.10.2050, HTS, which provides for “ Diaries, notebooks and address books, bound; memorandum pads, letter pads and similar articles: Other.” The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the wax-filled tin with lid will be 3406.00.0000, HTS, which provides for “Candles, tapers and the like.” The rate of duty will be free. For your information, candles from China may be subject to anti-dumping duties promulgated by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Import Administration. You may contact them at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20203, telephone number (202) 482-4106.

The applicable subheading for the pencil will be 9609.10.0000, HTS, which provides for “Pencils and crayons, with leads encased in a rigid sheath.” The rate of duty will be 14 cents per gross plus 4.3 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the mending kit will be 9605.00.0000, HTS, which provides for “Travel sets for personal toilet, sewing or shoe or clothes cleaning (other than manicure and pedicure sets of heading 8214).” The rate of duty will be 8.1 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the nylon carrying pouch will be 4202.92.3031, HTS, which provides for “Travel, sports and similar bags: With outer surface of textile materials: Other: Other: Of man-made fibers: Other.” The rate of duty will be 17.6 percent ad valorem. At the present time, textile category 670 from Taiwan is not subject to visa requirements or quota restrictions.

You state in your letter that, in addition to the classification of the subject product, you also seek guidance with respect to country of origin marking, requesting confirmation that it would be acceptable to have the following listed (presumably) on the folded (larger) hangtag: “Bag and components made in Taiwan, Candle and Compass made in China, Magnifier made in India, Notebook made in the USA.”

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 subject product 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 article by viewing the container in which it is packaged, the individual article would be excepted from marking under this provision. For your information, Part 134, Subpart E, of the Customs Regulations addresses the method and location of marking imported articles.

In our opinion - in contrast to the shrink-wrapped kit ruled on in NY Ruling Letter D88024, dated March 5, 1999 - a potential purchaser of the subject product would open (unzip) the nylon carrying pouch and inspect the contents therein before purchasing the article. Accordingly, it is our position that your proposal to list the countries of origin of the components making up the subject product on the hangtag, in lieu of marking each of the components with their country of origin, is unacceptable. In addition, it is our position that each item making up the first aid kit must be separately marked with its own country of origin. As noted in T.D. 91-7, “[t]he mere inclusion of an item (in this instance, any of the individual components making up the first aid kit) in a collection (in this instance, the first aid kit, per se) will not substantially transform it (i.e., any of the individual components) into an article with a new name, character or use and, therefore, each item must be separately marked with its own country of origin.”

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 Harvey Kuperstein at 646-733-3033.


Robert B. Swierupski

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