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NY L88041

November 4, 2005

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:102 L88041


TARIFF NO.: 8481.90.5000

Ms. Jamie L. Davis
Interline Brands
3333 Lenox Avenue
Jacksonville, FL 32254

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of a valve handle from Taiwan

Dear Ms. Davis:

In your letter dated October 5, 2005 you requested a tariff classification and marking ruling on behalf of Interline Brands. A sample was submitted.

The article in question is described as a “Handle Assembly”, which is simply a handle for a hand-operated valve. Although the material from which the handle is made was not stated in your letter, based on our examination of the submitted sample, the handle appears to be made from a material other than copper, iron or steel.

The applicable subheading for the handle will be 8481.90.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for parts of hand operated taps, cocks, valves and similar appliances, of other materials. The rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.

In your request you inquire whether the handle itself is required to be marked with its country of origin or if its packaging may be marked to indicate country of origin. The submitted sample was packaged in a sealed plastic bag marked “TAIWAN”.

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. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. Accordingly, if Customs is satisfied that the article will remain in its container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the handle by viewing the plastic bag in which it is packaged, the individual handle would be excepted from marking under this provision.

Accordingly, marking the plastic bag in which the handle is imported and sold to the ultimate purchaser in lieu of marking the handle itself is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported handle provided the port director is satisfied that the handle will remain in the marked bag until it reaches the ultimate purchaser.

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 Kenneth T. Brock at 646-733-3009.


Robert B. Swierupski

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