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NY L84433

May 6, 2005

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:N1:106 L84433


TARIFF NO.: 3923.50.0000; 8424.20.1000; 9817.00.5000

Ms. Marian Ladner
Strasburger & Price LLP
1401 McKinney Street
Houston, TX 77010

RE: The tariff classification of a trigger sprayer and cap closure assembly from China

Dear Ms. Ladner:

In your letter dated April 22, 2005, on behalf of your client, Saint-Gobain Calmar, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling. You submitted samples and technical drawings with your request.

The merchandise at issue is a trigger sprayer and cap closure assembly to be imported in the same shipment. You state that the trigger sprayer is a Nested Mixor Remote sprayer, which is nearly identical to similarly named sprayers classified in New York ruling K81803 of December 15, 2003. A “nested “ model trigger sprayer has a flexible tube coiled inside the trigger sprayer rather than extending directly out of the bottom of the unit. Generally, a trigger sprayer of this type is connected to its spray media by mating its connector component at the end of the nested tubing to a port in the cap of the container holding the spray media.

Unlike the earlier New York ruling cited above, the instant trigger sprayer will be imported with a cap closure assembly. The cap closure assembly consists of a container cap with an open-and-close lid that reveals an opening in the cap base when the lid cover is up. A dip tube is attached to the underside of this opening. The sprayer connector is intended to be snap-fitted to the opening in the cap closure before use.

In a discussion with National Import Specialist (NIS) Patrick Wholey of my staff, a member of your firm and a traffic manager for your client stated that the trigger sprayer and cap closure assembly will be imported in like numbers in the same shipment in separate boxes and will be stored in those boxes at the importer’s site until ready for subsequent shipment to the intended buyer. At that point the products will be shipped to the buyer in like numbers but separately packaged in a manner identical to their imported condition. The buyer will cap a container of its product (typically a fungicide, herbicide, insecticide or similar horticultural aid product) with the cap closure assembly and package it with the trigger sprayer for retail sale. The ultimate consumer is instructed to press fit the connector end of the nested trigger sprayer into the cap opening and to begin spraying the spray media as directed.

You believe that the products as imported form the essential character together of a trigger sprayer and but need to be fitted together, as described above, to form an assembled whole good. You further state that the “parts were designed and fitted specifically for one another”, that they are not sold separately, that they are packaged separately but in identical numbers and for convenience of packing and handling. In support of your contention you cite General Rule of Interpretation 2(a), the Explanatory Notes commenting on that rule and two Headquarters rulings. It is your belief that your citations support your position that the trigger sprayer and cap closure assembly imported together in like numbers have the essential character of “the complete or finished article because one component part without the other renders the Product [sic] useless.” You also state that “no components are used for inventory purposes and all the components are to be assembled into completed sprayers.” We do not agree with your position.

We do not consider that the two components form an unassembled whole having the essential character of a finished or completed trigger sprayer, following your GRI 2(a) analysis. The trigger sprayer component alone has the character of a sprayer. The cap closure, imported in separate packaging and not mated with the trigger sprayer until the ultimate purchaser does so after retail sale, meets the description of a cap or other closure, of plastic. New York ruling K81803, cited above, classified nearly identical nested trigger sprayers for your client as trigger sprayers without reference to any incompleteness or unassembled condition. Therefore, we would not invoke GRI 2(a). The circumstances you describe are more in the nature of a failed set for retailed sale. Goods are classified in their condition as imported. At the point of their importation into the United States as well as in their shipment from the importer to the wholesale seller in the United States these goods are not put up together in sets for retail sale and they are also not considered to be composite goods. They remain separate and apart throughout their progress in the marketplace to their ultimate use. Parenthetically, the trigger sprayer was found to be fully functional in and of itself and not dependent on the cap closure for operation. The cap closure ultimately serves the purpose of capping a container of spray media and provides a convenient port through which the trigger sprayer may access the spray media. There is no evidence before us that these proposed shipments would be anything more than large shipments of equal numbers of components. This is not the type of “convenience of packing, handling or transport” that the Explanatory Notes contemplate.

The applicable subheading for the nested trigger sprayer component will be 8424.20.1000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for simple piston pump sprayers similar to spray guns. The rate of duty will be 2.9 percent.

The applicable subheading for the cap closure assembly will be 3923.50.0000, HTS, which provides for stoppers, lids, caps and other closures, of plastics. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

Subheading 9817.00.5000, HTS, is the provision covering machinery, equipment, or implements to be used in agricultural or horticultural pursuits. This is an actual use provision subject to the certification process found in Sections 10.131 – 10.139 of the Customs Regulations. The use of these trigger sprayers is an agricultural/horticultural pursuit. In this instance, classification in the alternative, subject to certification, will be subheading 9817.00.5000, HTS. The rate of duty will be free. The cap closure, however, does not answer to an agricultural or horticultural purpose as its function is to serve as a cap for a container and thus it is ineligible for consideration for this provision.

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 NIS Patrick Wholey at 646-733-3013.


Robert B. Swierupski

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