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NY L89054

December 19, 2005

CLA-2-48:RR:NC:SP:234 L89054


TARIFF NO.: 4819.20.0040

Ms. Sasha Yang
Packaging-Matrix International, Inc.
1860 Osprey Bluff Blvd.
Orange Park, FL 32003

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of paperboard folding cartons from China.

Dear Ms. Yang:

In your letter dated November 22, 2005, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A sample of an empty “folding carton” was submitted for our examination and is being returned to you as requested. It is a single sheet of thin, non-corrugated paperboard that has been die-cut, scored, folded and glued to itself so as to form a flattened box with flap closures at the top and bottom ends. The exterior is printed with illustrations and product information concerning a particular hair-treatment kit. When set up, the box measures approximately 4” x 5” x 9”(H). Following importation, the cartons represented by the sample will be filled with hair-treatment kits manufactured in the United States, serving as individual retail containers for them.

The applicable subheading for the above-described cartons will be 4819.20.0040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for folding cartons, boxes and cases, of non-corrugated paper or paperboard, other than sanitary food and beverage containers. The rate of duty will be Free.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

You also proposed a scenario in which the outermost shipping containers (each of which will contain 200 folding cartons) will be marked with the country of origin (i.e., “Made in China”), while the individual folding cartons will not bear such marking.

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.

Customs has previously held that when empty, disposable containers such as the instant folding cartons are imported into the U.S. to be filled with merchandise, the person or firm that fills them is considered to be the ultimate purchaser, and the containers are excepted from individual marking pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D), meaning that only the outside wrappings or outer cartons need be marked to indicate the country of origin.

In light of the above, the subject folding cartons are excepted from individual marking and only the outermost shipping containers should be marked with the country of origin, provided the appropriate Port Director is satisfied that the marked containers will reach 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 Carl Abramowitz at 646-733-3037.


Robert B. Swierupski

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