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NY K84868

April 28, 2004
CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 K84868


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.9880; 9811.00.60

Mr. Richard Miller
Springs Window Fashions LP
7549 Graber Road
Middleton, WI 53562-1096

RE: The tariff classification of window blind selectors from Mexico.

Dear Mr. Miller:

In your letter dated March 25, 2004, you requested a tariff classification ruling and country of origin determination.

The sample submitted with your request is identified as a window blind selector. It consists of sample pieces of window blind slat material used for soliciting orders for custom window blinds that are made in Mexico. The selectors are of no value for any purpose other than for soliciting orders. The PVC slats are made in Taiwan and shipped to Mexico in lengths of approximately 9 feet. In Mexico the slats are cut to size, approximately 10 inches in length. Holes are drilled in one end of each slat. The sample slats are individually marked to indicate color and style. Some versions of the selectors will also include swatches of U.S. origin narrow woven fabric used as ladder tape on the blinds. The sample slats are assembled with a metal post fastener through the holes in the slat. A plastic handle is secured to the ends of the post. The selector is packaged in a plastic bag and boxed for shipment.

The applicable subheading for the window blind selector will be 3926.90.9880, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other articles of plastics, other. The general rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

In the alternative, the window blind selector may be eligible for duty free treatment under subheading 9811.00.60, HTS. This subheading provides for the free entry of any sample valued not over $1.00 each, or marked, torn, perforated, or otherwise treated so that it is unsuitable for sale or for use otherwise than as a sample, to be used in the United States only for soliciting orders for products of foreign countries. The controlling factor under this statute is whether the importer uses the samples for the purpose of soliciting purchase orders for foreign merchandise and the creation of demand for future orders. The purpose behind the importation and distribution of the samples must be the stimulation of sales through exposure for public consumption.

Though the selector is valued at more than $1.00 each, the merchandise is unsuitable for any purpose other than for soliciting orders. As long as the actual window blinds will be produced in a foreign country, and as long as the selectors are used in the United States to solicit orders of the foreign-made blinds or stimulate demand for them so as to increase future orders, then the window blind selector is eligible for duty free treatment in subheading 9811.00.60, HTS.

You also request a ruling as to the country of origin of the window blind selector. 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" within the meaning of this part. However for a good of a NAFTA country, the NAFTA Marking Rules will determine the country of origin.

Section 134.1(j), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(j), provides that the "NAFTA Marking Rules" are the rules promulgated for purposes of determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country. Section 134.1(g), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(g)), defines a "good of a NAFTA country" as an article for which the country of origin is Canada, Mexico or the United States as determined under the NAFTA Marking Rules, set forth at 19 CFR Part 102. Section 134.45(a)(2) of the Customs regulations (19 CFR 134.45(a)(2)) provides that a "good of a NAFTA country" may be marked with the name of the country of origin in English, French or Spanish.

Section 102.11, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 102.11), sets forth the required hierarchy for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country for marking purposes. Section 102.11(a) provides that the country of origin of a good is the country in which: (1) The good is wholly obtained or produced; (2) The good is produced exclusively from domestic materials; or (3) Each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes the applicable change in tariff classification set out in section 102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section, and all other applicable requirements of these rules are satisfied.

According to the information provided in your request, unfinished slats of Taiwan origin are exported to Mexico where they are cut to size, holes are drilled, the slats are individually marked, the swatches are assembled with a metal fastener and a plastic carry handle is secured. The blind selectors are neither wholly obtained or produced, nor produced exclusively from domestic materials. Accordingly, neither 19 CFR 102.11(a)(1) nor 102.11(a)(2) may be used to determine the origin of the finished articles, and analysis must continue to 19 CFR 102.11(a)(3).

Pursuant to 19 CFR 102.11(a)(3), the country of origin of a good is the country in which each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification as set forth in 19 CFR 102.20, and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section. Because the finished window blind selector is classified under subheading 3926.90.9880, HTS, the change in tariff classification must be made in accordance with section 102.20(g), which requires a change to heading 3922 through 3926 from any other heading, including another heading within that group. In the case before us, all of the components undergo a change in tariff classification within the requirements of section 102.20, so the country of origin of the good may be determined in accordance with this provision. Accordingly, Mexico is considered to be the country of origin of the window blind selector.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 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 Joan Mazzola at 646-733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

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