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NY K88861

December 14, 2004

CLA-2-96:RR:NC:SP:233 K88861


TARIFF NO.: 9603.40.4060

Mr. Joseph F. Donohue, Jr.
Donohue and Donohue
26 Broadway
New York, NY 10004

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of paintbrushes from China.

Dear Mr. Donohue:

In your letter dated August 19, 2004, on behalf of Masterbrush LLC, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted samples are paintbrushes composed in part of natural bristles (i.e., animal hair) and in part of synthetic filaments. You indicate that the natural bristles will constitute not more than 40 percent and the synthetic filaments will constitute at least 60 percent. The handles are wooden (except for the Cutter model, which has a resin handle). A metal band surrounds the handle at the point where the bristles and handles are joined. There are six styles, identified as follows:


You have submitted a sample of each style brush, together with descriptive literature. Each style comes in various sizes. The brushes are intended for use with both latex paints and oil paints, primarily for marine use (i.e., for painting boats).

The applicable subheading for the paintbrushes will be 9603.40.4060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Paint, distemper, varnish or similar brushesOther.” The rate of duty will be 4% ad valorem.

At your request, the sample brushes were forwarded to the Customs and Border Protection laboratory for analysis. Our response was delayed due to laboratory analysis, during which the submitted samples were destroyed. The results of the analysis indicates that the bristle composition by weight of the paintbrushes is as follows:

Superchip: 83.0% polyester, 17.0% animal hair Cruiser 78.9% synthetic man-made fibers, 21.1% animal hair fibers Cutter 77.9% synthetic man-made fibers, 22.1% animal hair fibers Elite 80.9% synthetic man-made fibers, 19.1% animal hair fibers Ultra-Ex 75.7% synthetic man-made fibers, 24.3% animal hair fibers Spectre 78.7% synthetic filaments, 21.3% natural bristles

Natural bristle paintbrushes produced in China are subject to an antidumping order. Based on the results of lab analysis, the essential character of each style is the synthetic man-made fibers and therefore falls outside the scope of the antidumping order.

You have also requested a country of origin marking ruling for the paintbrushes. You indicate that each brush will be packaged in sealed a poly bag in which it will be sold to the retail purchaser. On the front of the packaging will appear the Masterbrush logo, brush size, brush style, and representations as to quality, cost effectiveness and use. The packaging will wrap under the brush head to the other side, where cleaning instructions will appear, followed by:

Newark, NJ 07114

Just below “Newark, NJ” will appear “Made in China”. You have submitted a sample bag as well as a sample brush (Elite model) in a packaged condition.

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.

Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), deals with cases in which the words "United States," or "American," the letters "U.S.A.," any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appears on an imported article or its container, and those words, letters or names may mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser as to the actual country of origin. In such a case, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters, or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," Product of," or other words of similar meaning.

In order to satisfy the close proximity requirement, the country of origin marking must generally appear on the same side(s) or surface(s) in which the name or locality other than the actual country of origin appears.

The proposed marking of imported paintbrushes, as described above, satisfies the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported paintbrushes.

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 Lawrence Mushinske at 646-733-3036.


Robert B. Swierupski

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