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NY K88942

September 14, 2004

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:221 K88942


TARIFF NO: 3926.90.2500; 3926.90.9880

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 imported components of kitchen storage containers.

Two samples were submitted and will be returned as you requested. SKU 9, 10 is described as a cake keeper handle. It is available in two different sizes for different cake keepers. The cake keeper pictured in the submitted artwork consists of a 10 cup cake keeper base, a 12 inch diameter cake keeper tray, a 12 cup chip and dip divided tray, and a 4 gallon capacity clear cake keeper lid. The components can be mixed and matched for multiple serving uses. For example, the lid can be turned upside down and used as a serving bowl. The base can be used as a serving tray. The base can also be used as an ice compartment under the chip and dip tray. The imported cake keeper handle fits into a depression in the top of the cake lid, and acts as a handle by which the lid can be lifted up from the cake keeper base.

SKU 8(27) is described as a pasta/cereal keeper divider. The divider is one component of the pasta/cereal kitchen storage container. The container has a capacity of one gallon. The lid has two covered pouring spouts. The divider will be inserted into the middle of the container to keep the contents separate. This allows the container to be used to store two types of food, e.g., two types of cereal, or two types of pasta.

The applicable subheading for the cake keeper handles will be 3926.90.2500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other articles of plasticshandles and knobs, not elsewhere specified or included, of plastics. The rate of duty will be 6.5 percent ad valorem.

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

The samples are not marked with the country of origin. You state that the articles will be imported as components, then assembled with their respective domestic components and boxed for retail sale. The cake keeper handles are the only components of the cake keepers that are not of US origin. The dividers are the only components of the pasta/cereal keepers that are not of US origin. You included a photocopy of the artwork for the box in which the complete cake keeper will be sold. It is marked “Assembled in U.S.A. from components made in U.S.A. and China.” You did not submit a sample of the artwork for the box in which the complete pasta/cereal keeper will be sold.

Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C.1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or 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. The case of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98) (1940), provides that an article used in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article will be considered substantially transformed and that the manufacturer or processor will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the constituent materials. In such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked. See, 19 CFR 134.35.

In the instant case, the imported cake keeper handle and the pasta/cereal keeper divider lose their separate identity after they are imported into the United States and combined with the other components of the storage containers. Accordingly, Rubbermaid is the ultimate purchaser of the imported handles and dividers. In these circumstances, the imported handles and dividers are excepted from marking and only the cartons in which they will be shipped to Rubbermaid are required to be marked with the country of origin. In the alternative, the marking that you propose, “Assembled in U.S.A. from components made in U.S.A. or China,” is also acceptable marking.

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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