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NY L82482

February 16, 2005

CLA-2-56:RR:NC:N3:351 L82482


TARIFF NO.: 5609.00.2000

Peter Mento
Expeditors Trasewin, LLC
1015 Third Avenue, 12th Floor
Seattle, Washington 98104

RE: The tariff classification of a cat scratching pad from China

Dear Mr. Mento:

In your letter dated February 3, 2005, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of the Dallas Manufacturing Company, of Dallas, Texas.

The submitted sample is identified as a cat scratching pad. It is composed of a wooden particleboard that measures approximately 20” x 4” x1” that is covered at each end by approximately five inches of polypropylene carpet; the middle eleven inches is wrapped with sisal twine. The carpet has been treated with catnip. An acrylic pompom on a spring is stapled to one end. In addition, a loop of sisal twine extends eight inches from the top, allowing the cat toy to be hung from a door knob or a hook.

You have suggested that this product is primarily of wood and should therefore be classified in subheading 4421.90.9740, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other (non-enumerated) articles of wood. In support of your position, you have cited three previous Customs rulings, involving certain other pet products, in which such a determination was made. However, we find that those rulings are not controlling in this instance because the items described in them are distinguishable from the current one. With respect to the present article, we note that while the wooden core may be the heaviest component, it is completely covered and concealed by the exterior textile materials, which appear to be of primary functional importance. Based on surface area, appearance, and function, we therefore find that the textile materials predominate. It is the opinion of this office that the sisal cord imparts the essential character to this item.

The applicable subheading for the cat scratching pad will be 5609.00.2000, HTS, which provides for articles of yarn,twine, cordage, rope or cables, not elsewhere specified or included: of vegetable fibers, except cotton. The rate of duty will be Free.

We note that the submitted sample is not marked with its country of origin. Section 134.11 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 134.11) provides in part:

Unless excepted by law...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 container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article, at the time of importation into the Customs territory of the U.S.

In addition, because a U.S. reference (“Dallas, TX”) appears on the imported cat toy, when they are imported into the U.S., it is necessary to consider the necessity for additional marking. 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 [emphasis added], 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. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent the possibility of misleading or deceiving the ultimate purchaser of an article as to the actual origin of the imported good.

The sample will be returned as requested.

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 Mitchel Bayer at 646-733-3102.


Robert B. Swierupski

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