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NY K88866

September 14, 2004

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:221 K88866


TARIFF NO: 3924.10.4000

Ms. Darlene D. Jones
Schenker, Inc.
192 Ballard Court, Suite 200
Virginia Beach, VA 23462


Dear Ms. Jones:

This is in response to your letter dated July 26, 2004, on behalf of Rubbermaid, Inc., requesting a ruling on classification and country of origin marking for an imported plastic canister and lid. A sample was submitted with your letter for review.

The product is identified as a dry food canister, SKU 7, 20, 21 (27). It is a lidded canister that is available in three capacities: 12, 32 and 42 cups. The top lid has an additional lidded opening at the slope in the front to allow the consumer to scoop out the contents without removing the entire lid. This smaller lid is clear so that the contents, and the quantity remaining of those contents, are visible. The sample is being returned as you requested.

The applicable subheading for the plastic lidded canister will be 3924.10.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics: tableware and kitchenware: other. The rate of duty will be 3.4 percent ad valorem.

The canister is not marked with the country of origin. You state that the product will be imported as components, the canister and the lid assembly, and then boxed for retail sale. The canister and lid make up one retail item. The canisters are available in three sizes, each sold separately. A 10 cup lidded canister is also available as one component in the multiple unit kitchen starter set that includes other imported and domestic items. You included a photocopy of the artwork for the box in which the individual canister will be marketed and the artwork for the box in which the kitchen starter set will be marketed. Because of the greatly reduced size of the photocopies submitted with your request, the smaller size words on the boxes are illegible. However, none of the words that are visible in the illustrations of either box refer to the country of origin of the canister.

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.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

The lidded canister itself is not legally marked with the country of origin. 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. However, since the canisters are not imported in their marked retail container, whether the subject articles are excepted from individual marking under 19 CFR 134.32(d) is for the port director to decide. In this regard section 134.34, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.34), provides that an exception may be authorized at the discretion of the port director under 19 CFR 134.32(d) for imported articles which are to be repacked after release from Customs custody under the following conditions: (1) The containers in which the articles are repacked will indicate the origin of the articles to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S.; (2) The importer arranges for supervision of the marking of the containers by Customs officers at the importer's expense or secures such verification, as may be necessary, by certification and the submission of a sample or otherwise, of the marking prior to the liquidation of the entry.

In this case, if the port director at the port of entry is satisfied that the imported canisters will be repacked into retail packages that indicate the origin of the canisters and that the other conditions set forth in 19 CFR 134.34 are met, the port director may authorize an exception under 19 CFR 134.32(d), in which case marking of the imported canisters will not be required.

You ask about the marking of boxes that will include both imported and domestic products. The box must clearly indicate the specific country of origin of each item in the set that is manufactured in a foreign country.

In previous submissions the words “Distributed by Rubbermaid Foodservice Products, Huntersville, NC, U.S.A. 28078-1801” have been included in the proposed artwork for similar kitchen products. 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. If you intend to include a domestic address on the marking of the box, then the box must include the marking “Made in China,” “Product of China,” or words of similar meaning, in close proximately and in at least a comparable size to the domestic address.

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 Joan Mazzola at 646-733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

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