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NY L88700

December 1, 2005

MAR-2 RR:NC:N1:105 L88700


Mr. Abrar A. Solatch
USA Imports Inc.
1512 West Chester Pike No-122
West Chester, PA 19382


Dear Mr. Solatch:

This is in response to your letter dated September 30, 2005, to the Chief, Special Classification and Marking Branch in Washington, DC, received here on November 7, 2005, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking of Germany is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported surgical instruments. No marked samples were submitted with your letter for review.

Per NISA J. Wilson’s telephone call to you on November 28, 2005, you have received our letter notifying you that we do not agree that the information set forth in your 9-30-05 letter constituted trade secrets or privileged or confidential information and you have agreed that we may issue a ruling on the basis of no special claim of confidentiality.

Since no details or samples of your proposed marking were supplied, this letter is ruling only upon whether Germany is the country of origin of the items, as opposed to Pakistan.

You state: “USA Imports Inc. plans to import stainless surgical scissors and forceps (including thumb/tissue forceps also known as tweezers) from Pakistan where they have been milled, assembled and polished from unassembled halves forged in Germany.

The stainless halves are forged by German companies from rough blanks cut from plate. The forging process results in instruments halves that have the shape and size required to determine the specific name and function of the finished surgical instrument. The forgings are then annealed. After annealing, the forgings are sand blasted and trimmed to remove the excess flash and to cut the middle coin from finger ring. After second sand blasting, the forgings are tested for the required ‘Rockwell Hardness’.

The cut, cleaned and annealed forgings are than shipped to Pakistan for finishing and assembly. The forgings are milled from box lock, jaws and ratchets. The forgings are then filed to remove additional flash and burrs, then holes are drilled from pins or screws. After the filling instruments are tested for function, cleaned and boiled tested. The finished instruments are then shipped to the United States.”

From the information you supplied on costs, it appears that, for, at minimum, the least and most expensive items, the FOB prices of the German components will be substantially more than half of the FOB price of the export from Pakistan.

The Headquarters Ruling Letters you cite do support your claim that the country of origin of the imports from Pakistan is Germany.

In addition, we find a more recent HRL, 562658 KSG, 4-25-03, to be most direct precedent for Germany as the country of origin from the facts you have provided.

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.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

The proposed marking of imported surgical instruments, as described above, to indicate a German origin, if conspicuously, legibly and permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134, is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported surgical instruments.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 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 J. Sheridan at 646-733-3012.


Robert B. Swierupski

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