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NY K85612

June 24, 2004

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:MM:114 K85612


Mr. Jeffrey D. Rogers
Thomas Electronics
3250 Quentin St.
Unit 114
Aurora, CO 80011


Dear Mr. Rogers:

This is in response to your letter dated April 28, 2004 requesting a ruling on the tariff classification and the country of origin marking of photographic laboratory equipment from India.

The ACP 305 photographic paper processor is manufactured in Germany by Therma-Phot and purchased by Aver House, an Indian company. In India, the photographic paper processor will be married to a structure that is manufactured in India. The processor is not in a functional state upon receipt in India. Electronics will be added in order to make the processor functional. After the electronics are added, the unit could be functional but it still needs commands sent to the electronics to tell it when to function. This is part of the firmware that will be created at Thomas Electronics in Denver, Colorado.

The processor/structure are sold to Thomas Electronics in the United States. In the United States, Thomas Electronics will install a digital print engine and the firmware will be created. The complete units, called printer/processors, will be tested and sold to distributors and end users.

The printer uses fiber optic cathode ray tube technology. The RA-4 paper in rolls traverses at a constant velocity in front of this tube in a light-tight environment. The red, green and blue lights of the printer excite either cyan, magenta or yellow dyes that are layered on the paper. After imaging, the paper is fed up into the processor where it begins the development process. After the images are processed, the paper is cut into the required sizes, for example, 8 by 10 inches or 5 by 7 inches. The prints exit the processor ready for the consumer.

This printer/processor does not process film-based products. It images and develops digital images from the Internet, scanned images, or images introduced from a digital camera.

You request a ruling on the country of origin marking for the product imported from India and for the finished product exported from the United States. You also request a tariff classification ruling on the processor/structure imported into the United States, and on the printer/processor for export from the United States. We are not able to issue a ruling on the country of origin marking and classification on the product for export from the United States.

The applicable subheading for the photographic processor and structure imported into the United States from India will be 9010.10.0000, HTS, which provides for apparatus and equipment for automatically developing photographic (including cinematographic) film or paper in rolls or for automatically exposing developed film to rolls of photographic paper. The rate of duty will be 2.4 percent ad valorem.

Regarding country of origin marking, 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. 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, noting 19 CFR 134.35.

In this case, the imported processor/structure is substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser of the imported processor/structure. Under 19 CFR 134.35 only the containers that reach the ultimate purchaser are required to be marked with the country of origin “India”.

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 Barbara Kiefer at 646-733-3019.


Robert B. Swierupski

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