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NY L84880

June 2, 2005

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 L84880


TARIFF NO.: 9506.99.6080

Mr. Lenny Feldman
Ms. Rhoda A. Salus
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
The Waterford
5200 Blue Lagoon Drive
Miami, FL 33126-2022

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of portable basketball systems from China.

Dear Mr. Feldman and Ms. Salus:

In your letter dated May 11, 2005, you requested a tariff classification and a country of origin marking determination on behalf of your client, the Russell Corporation.

The imported item under consideration for classification purposes is a prepack unit consisting of steel poles, hardware and a basketball net that constitutes a portion of an unassembled portable basketball system. Subsequent to importation into the U.S., the prepack unit is joined with the rim, backboard and base component and shipped to the retailer or consumer.

The prepack units (poles, hardware and net) are manufactured in China. The rims may be manufactured and imported from China or made in the U.S. The backboard and base unit are made in the U.S.

In the case of the prepack units, the steel tubes are formed, assembly holes punched and hardware manufactured for the assembly of the system. The steel tubes, blister packs of hardware, and a 100 percent polyester basketball rim net (if one is included) are shipped in cartons to the importer’s premises in the U.S. to be warehoused. Once all components of the basketball system are available, the importer packs the imported prepack in a carton in its condition as imported. The importer then forms a bundle that combines the base, the goal and the base hardware. The backboard is placed with this bundle into the carton and the complete basketball system is shipped to the retailer or directly to an ultimate consumer.

Heading 9506 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) provides, in part, for articles and equipment for athletics, other sports or outdoor games. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 9506 indicate that the heading covers basketballs, basketball nets, and other articles and equipment designed for use in the play of games and sports. Consequently, the imported components of the portable basketball system, including the prepack units and those ball rims made in China, are classified in heading 9506, HTSUS. Specifically, the subheading for the basketball system components will be 9506.99.6080, HTSUS, which provides for “Articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics, athletics, other sportsor outdoor games, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapterOther: Other: Other, Other.” The rate of duty will be 4 percent ad valorem.

Regarding the marking of the country of origin of the portable basketball system retail package, 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 of the Customs Regulations implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Under 19 C.F.R. 134.24(d)(2), articles which are sold in sealed containers which are normally unopened by the ultimate purchaser before purchase must be marked to indicate the country of origin of its contents.

You assert that the individual imported components of the portable basketball system are marked “Made in China” or are packed in a box marked “Made in China,” or both. The prepack unit of marked imported items will remain marked with their country of origin when placed in the outer retail carton, which carton will bear a country of origin marking deemed appropriate. You submit several similar “central markings” for the outer retail carton containing the assembled portable basketball system that you feel comply with Customs’ “common sense” approach to marking groups of items that are made in different countries. The proposed marks include:

“Products of U.S. & China - Packaged in U.S.

“Assembled in U.S. of U.S. & China Components”

“Assembled in U.S. from Components Manufactured in U.S. and China”

4. “Components Made in U.S.A. and China”

In Customs ruling HRL 557796, dated June 3, 1994, Customs considered the country of origin marking for Christmas tree light sets assembled in Macau from imported components. In the absence of a substantial transformation of the components into a new and different article in a single country, Customs determined that the components must each be marked with their respective countries of origin, and held that a central origin label with the marking “Components Made in Taiwan, Macau and Korea” satisfied the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

In Customs ruling HQ 734457, dated May 26, 1992, Customs ruled:

A single, centrally located, country of origin marking on imported fishing rods that denotes both the country where the article was assembled and the actual countries of origin from which the component parts derive, but does not specify with particularity which component comes from which country, such as “assembled in China from components manufactured in Taiwan, Korea, and China,” is acceptable for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 C.F.R. Part 134, as it reasonably affords the necessary notice to ultimate purchasers concerning the foreign origin of the imported merchandise.

Accordingly, it is our determination that where the importer’s retail carton will contain both foreign and domestic parts and all foreign parts will be clearly designated as such, any one of the four central marking methods proposed herewith are acceptable as they reasonably inform the consumer purchaser of the U.S. and foreign origin of the system contents and satisfy the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 C.F.R. Part 134.

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 Tom McKenna at 646-733-3025.


Robert B. Swierupski

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