United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2005 NY Rulings > NY L82219 - NY L82269 > NY L82224

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY L82224

February 18, 2005

CLA-2-49:RR:NC:SP:234 L82224


TARIFF NO.: 4901.10.0040; 3926.20.4010; 4421.90.6000; 3304.99.1000

Ms. Sasha Yang
Packaging-Matrix International, Inc.
1860 Osprey Bluff Blvd.
Orange Park, FL 32003

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of “instruction packets” to be placed in hair-treatment kits, from China.

Dear Ms. Yang:

In your letter dated January 27, 2005, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A sample identified as an “instruction packet” was submitted for our examination and is being returned to you as requested. Following importation, such packets will be inserted into retail hair-treatment (“relaxer”) kits manufactured in the United States. The sample consists of the following items packed together in a small plastic bag:

A folded, 11” x 18” sheet of paper printed with complete instructions on how to use a certain “no-lye crème relaxer system.”

A pair of disposable polyethylene plastic gloves to be used for protecting the hands when the hair-treatment product is applied. The gloves have heat-sealed seams.

A flat wooden “mixing stick,” rounded at both ends, measuring approximately 14 cm long by 1½ cm wide by 1½ mm thick. This item, which is identical or very similar to a tongue depressor, will be used to blend or mix the hair-treatment product.

A sealed plastic packet containing 4 grams of “gel cover,” which is said to be petroleum jelly. This will be applied around the hairline to keep the hair-treatment product from getting onto the skin.

Since the above-described merchandise will be repackaged following importation, it will not be considered “goods put up in sets for retail sale” for tariff purposes. The individual components will therefore be classified separately.

The applicable subheading for the printed paper instruction sheet will be 4901.10.0040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for printed books, brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter: in single sheets, whether or not folded: other than reproduction proofs. The rate of duty will be Free.

The applicable subheading for the gloves will be 3926.20.4010, HTS, which provides for other articles of plastics gloves, mittens and mitts: other than seamless: other than specially designed for use in sports: disposable. The rate of duty will be 6.5%.

The applicable subheading for the wooden mixing stick will be 4421.90.6000, HTS, which provides for skewers, candy sticks, ice cream sticks, tongue depressors, drink mixers and similar small wares, of wood. The rate of duty will be 5.1%.

The applicable subheading for the packet of “gel cover” will be 3304.99.1000, HTS, which provides for beauty or make-up preparations and preparations for the care of the skin (other than medicaments) petroleum jelly put up for retail sale. The rate of duty will be Free.

With respect to the “gel cover,” please note that perfumery, cosmetic and toiletry products are subject to the requirements of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which is administered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Questions regarding FDA requirements, including your question regarding proper labeling of the “gel cover,” may be addressed to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Cosmetics and Colors, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740-3835, telephone number (202) 418-3412.

You also proposed a country-of-origin marking scenario and inquired as to its propriety. You state that the instruction packets will be packed 600 units per carton, and that each carton will be marked with the customer’s part number and an indication that the contents are made in China. We presume that in this scenario, neither the individual packets nor their contents will be marked with the country of origin.

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.

The purpose of the country of origin marking laws “is to mark the goods so that at the time of purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will.” United States v. Friedlander & Co., 27 CCPA 297, 302, C.A.D. 104 (1940). The “ultimate purchaser” is defined generally as 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). If an article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the “ultimate purchaser.” 19 CFR 134.1(3).

The retail consumer in this case will be purchasing the hair-treatment set for its main components, which will include the relaxer creme, a conditioning/neutralizing shampoo, a soft-blend activator and a treatment ampoule. Thus, the items comprising the accompanying “instruction packet” will be relatively insignificant.

In T.D. 91-7 (January 8, 1991), Customs found “that in certain circumstances, the marking of every item in a collection of goods may not be consistent with the purpose of the statute, or may be impractical and/or undesirable. This may be because one or more items in the collection are relatively insignificant and would have no influence on the purchasing decision ” Such are the circumstances in the instant situation. Accordingly, the “instruction packets” and their contents will not be required to be individually marked with the country of origin. The country of origin marking on the outer cartons will be sufficient for Customs purposes and will adequately inform the manufacturer/packager of the hair-treatment kit.

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 Carl Abramowitz at 646-733-3037.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: