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NY L84646

May 25, 2005

MAR-2 RR:NC:N1:117 L84646


Mr. Anthony M. Cooper
Fed Ex Trade Networks
Transport and Brokerage, Inc.
128 Dearborn Street
Buffalo, New York 14207


Dear Mr. Cooper:

This is in response to your letter dated May 3, 2005 on behalf of your client, Lokring Technology Corporation, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed method of marking is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported pipe fittings. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

You state in your letter that components produced in Canada will be processed and assembled to flanges and tees, which are manufactured in India and Malaysia. This assembly will produce fittings that connect pipe utilizing your unique metal-to-metal system. The flanges and tees are marked with their respective countries of origin and this marking will remain visible after assembly into the completed Lokring fitting. The half body components of the fittings are marked “Canada”. The submitted samples have each been affixed with an adhesive label that states, “Made in Canada”.

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.

In addition, 19 U.S.C 1304 (c) (1) requires that all pipe (iron, steel and stainless steel), pipe and tube fittings (steel, stainless steel, chrome-moly steel or cast or malleable iron) shall be marked to indicate the proper country of origin by one of five methods. These are die stamping, cast-in-mold lettering, etching, engraving or continuous paint stenciling.

19 U.S.C 1304 (c)(2), provides that if, because of the nature of an article, it is technically or commercially infeasible to mark by one of the five prescribed methods, the article may be marked by an equally permanent method of marking or in the case of small diameter pipe, tube or pipe fittings, by tagging the containers or bundles. Small diameter fittings are defined in Treasury Decision 92-70 as fittings having a nominal diameter of 1/4 inch or less.

19 U.S.C. 1304 (c) (1) further provides that no exception from these marking requirements may be made under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3) for these products. Therefore, although these goods will be installed into other products and are not for retail sale, as you indicate in your letter, an exception to the marking requirement cannot be granted.

The country of origin marking requirements for a "good of a NAFTA country" are also determined in accordance with Annex 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), as implemented by section 207 of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat 2057) (December 8, 1993) and the appropriate Customs Regulations. The Marking Rules used for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country are contained in Part 102, Customs Regulations. The marking requirements of these goods are set forth in Part 134, Customs Regulations.

Section 102.11, Customs Regulations, sets forth the required hierarchy for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country for marking purposes. Section 102.11 (a) states that the country of origin of a good is the country in which: (1) the good is wholly obtained or produced; (2) the good is produced exclusively from domestic materials; or (3) each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification as set forth in section 102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section. In this case the change in tariff classification must be made in accordance with section 102.20 (n), Section XV: Chapters 72 through 83, heading 7301-7307 which requires “A change to heading 7301 through 7307 from any other heading, including another heading within that group.”

     The steel flange and tee are initially classified under heading 7307 and remain classified under heading 7307 after the processing and assembling operations performed in Canada. There is no tariff classification change within the requirements of section 102.20.

     Section 102.11(b)(1) states that where the country of origin cannot be determined under paragraph (a), the country of origin of the good is the country of origin of the single material that imparts the essential character to the good. Noting section 102.18 (b), it is the Indian origin steel flange that imparts the essential character of the finished Lokring steel flange. For country of origin marking purposes, the country of origin of the finished steel flange that has been assembled in Canada is India. For the completed Lokring tee fitting, it is the Malaysian origin tee that imparts the essential character. For country of origin marking purposes, the country of origin of the tee is Malaysia.

The proposed marking of the imported pipe fittings as described above, does not satisfy the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 (c.) These fittings are required to be marked by one of the five approved methods enumerated in 19 U.S.C. 1304 ( c)(1) mentioned above. We also note that since the country of origin marking of the components that are made in Canada will remain visible on the completed fitting, an additional marking explaining the country names on the component parts is required. An example of this marking for the flange would be, “Fitting made in India - other components made in Canada” and for the tee would be, “Fitting made in Malaysia- other components made in Canada. “

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 181).

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 Gloria Stingone at 646-733-3020.


Robert B. Swierupski

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