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NY K86458

June 1, 2004

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:233 K86458


Mr. Bob King
Access Business Group LLC
7575 Fulton Street East
Ada, MI 49355


Dear Mr. King:

This is in response to your letter dated May 20, 2004 requesting a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements of a Life Compass Necklace which is made from a combination of imported components. A sample was submitted with your letter for review.

The Life Compass necklace consists of a sterling silver neck chain made in Italy and a sterling silver pendant made in Taiwan which are joined in the United States. The items are then placed in a display box that is made in China. The display box is then placed in a cardboard box with an origin of the United States. The processing in the United States consists of a simple assembly operation.

Your sample is being returned as requested.

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.

19 CFR 134.1(d)(1) states that if an imported article will be used in manufacture, the manufacturer may be the ultimate purchaser if he subjects the imported article to a process which results in a substantial transformation of the article. In determining whether the combining of parts or materials constitutes a substantial transformation, the issue is the extent of operations performed and whether the parts lose their identity and become an integral part of the new article. Belcrest Linens v. United states, 6 CIT 204, 573 F.Suppl 1149 (1983), aff'd, 2 Fed. Cir. 105, 741 F.2d 1368 (1984). Assembly operations which are minimal or simple, as opposed to complex or meaningful, will generally not result in a substantial transformation. In the instant case, the processing in the United States consists of simple assembly of the imported parts. In this case, the imported parts are not substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing. Therefore, the sterling silver necklace chain and pendant (or its container) must be marked with a conspicuous country of origin marking which clearly indicates that it is assembled with foreign components. Wording such as "Assembled in U.S. with parts made in Italy and Taiwanā€¯, or similar language, would be appropriate. The marking must be legible and permanent enough so as to reach the ultimate purchaser.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 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 Lawrence Mushinske at 646-733-3036.


Robert B. Swierupski

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