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NY L86279

August 9, 2005

CLA-2-87:RR:NC:MM:101 L86279


TARIFF NO.: 8708.99.6710

Mr. Jason M. Waite
Alston & Bird LLP
601 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
North Building, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20004-2601

RE: The tariff classification of forged universal joints from China

Dear Mr. Waite:

In your letter dated July 11, 2005 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Federal Mogul Corporation.

The items are unfinished universal joints which, after importation, undergo a series of further manufacturing steps leading to the finished articles. You have supplied samples of the imported item, and four other articles showing the finishing stages up to completion.

You have requested a classification of the imported article and an opinion as to whether or not there has been a substantial transformation of the article in the United States, which would exempt them from country of origin marking requirements under 19 C.F.R. # 134.35(a).

You have suggested that they be classified in 7326.90.8587 as other other articles of metal. After having examined the submitted sample, however, we are of the opinion that the article is easily identifiable as a universal joint.

The applicable subheading for the unfinished universal joint forgings will be 8708.99.6710, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Parts and accessories of the vehicles of Heading 8701 to 8705; Other parts and accessories; Other; Other; Other parts of power trains; Forged universal joints for vehicles of heading 8703. The rate of duty will be 2.5 percent.

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. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d) defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. 19 CFR 134.1(d)(1) states that if an imported article will be used in manufacture, the manufacturer may be the ultimate purchaser if he subjects the imported article to a process which results in a substantial transformation of the article. The case of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98) (1940), provides that an article used in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article will be considered substantially transformed and that the manufacturer or processor will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the constituent materials. In such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked. See, 19 CFR 134.35.

In this case, the imported unfinished universal joints are substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser of the imported unfinished universal joints and under 19 CFR 134.35 only the containers which reach the ultimate purchaser are required to be marked with the country of origin "China".

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 Robert DeSoucey at 646-733-3008.


Robert B. Swierupski

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