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 L85204 - NY L85251 > NY L85208

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY L85208

June 17, 2005

MAR-2 RR:NC:N1:113 L85208


Mr. Harold Averill
Corrigan Dispatch Company
Box 3610
1350 Cheers Boulevard
Brownsville, TX 78523-3610


Dear Mr. Averill:

This is in response to your letter dated May 17, 2005, on behalf of Ideal Division – Stant Corporation, requesting a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements for an imported article, which is processed in a NAFTA country prior to being imported into the U.S. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

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 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 134.1(b) of the regulations, defines "country of origin" as
the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the "country of origin" within this part; however, for a good of a NAFTA country, the NAFTA Marking Rules will determine the country of origin. (Emphasis added).

Section 134.1(j) of the regulations, provides that the "NAFTA Marking Rules" are the rules promulgated for purposes of determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country. Section 134.1(g) of the regulations, defines a "good of a NAFTA country" as an article for which the country of origin is Canada, Mexico or the United States as determined under the NAFTA Marking Rules. Section 134.45(a)(2) of the regulations, provides that a "good of a NAFTA country" may be marked with the name of the country of origin in English, French or Spanish.

The merchandise is a hub coupling, consisting, in its imported condition, of a corrugated steel sleeve and two steel clamps. The clamps are manufactured in Mexico from US-origin parts. Rolls of US-origin cold-rolled steel strip (chapter 72, HTS) will be shipped to Mexico, and passed through a hydraulic press to cut out notches. At the assembly machine, the notched strip is cut to length to make bands.

To create the clamp, the operator picks up an individual band and saddle (chapter 73), which is pressed onto the band to form a saddle/band. In the next operation, a worm screw and its housing (both chapter 73, HTS) are assembled and then are joined to the saddle/band. The tabs on the saddle are folded over the holes on the housing. The clamps are closed by meshing the slots in the band into the thread of the worm screw.

To create the hub coupling, two palm buttons drive each of the clamps clamp onto the corrugated steel sleeve (chapter 72, HTS) to form the No Hub Sleeve (chapter 73, HTS.) After importation, the coupling is finished by the addition of a rubber gasket.

In your letter, you state that you believe that the item is the product of a “simple assembly.” Section 102.1(o) defines “simple assembly” as “the fitting together of five or fewer parts all which are foreign (excluding fasteners such as screws, bolts, etc.) by bolting, gluing, soldering, sewing or by other means without more than minor processing.” While the production of this item involves five or fewer parts, the item is manufactured by “more than minor processing” as defined in Section 102.1(m). The flat-rolled strip is a raw material that is transformed by cutting to length and punching notches into a new article, converted from a product of Chapter 72, HTS, into an article of Iron or steel of Chapter 73 [cf. HQ 559946 of March 26, 1997.]

The imported hub couplings are processed in a NAFTA country "Mexico" prior to being imported into the U.S. Since "Mexico" is defined under 19 CFR 134.1(g), as a NAFTA country, we must first apply the NAFTA Marking Rules in order to determine whether the imported hub coupling is a "good of a NAFTA country", and thus subject to the NAFTA marking requirements.

Part 102 of the regulations, sets forth the "NAFTA Marking Rules" for purposes of determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country for marking purposes. Section 102.11 of the regulations, sets forth the required hierarchy for determining country of origin for marking purposes.

Applying the NAFTA Marking Rules set forth in Part 102 of the regulations to the facts of this case, we find that the imported hub coupling is a good of Mexico for marking purposes.

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 James Smyth at 646-733-3018.

Should you wish to request an administrative review of this ruling, submit a copy of this ruling and all relevant facts and arguments within 30 days of the date of this letter, to the Director, Commercial Rulings Division, Headquarters, Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20229.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling