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NY R01956

June 9, 2005

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:225 R01956


Rosita Ling
Ratana Trading Co. Ltd./Ratana Home & Floral 8310 Manitoba Street
Vancouver, BC Canada


Dear Ms. Ling:

This is in response to your letter dated May 9, 2005 requesting a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements for imported artificial foliage, which are assembled from Chinese components in Canada. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

You explained that your company imports the artificial floral bushes, stems, trees, vases and pots from China. All of these items are made in China. Your company assembles finished floral arrangements by placing the artificial floral pieces into a pot or vase and injecting high and low-density foam. The foam is then toped with real moss.

The Canadian labor, foam, moss and overhead represent a value added of anywhere from ten to almost fifty percent of the finished product in the information 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.

The "country of origin" is defined in 19 CFR 134.1(b) as "the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States. 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 the meaning of this part. For tariff purposes, the courts have held that a substantial transformation occurs if a new and different article emerges having a distinctive name, character or use. AnheuserBusch Brewing Association v. The United States, 207 U.S. 556 (1908) and Uniroyal Inc. v. United States, 542 F. Supp. 1026 (1982).

In this case, the assembly process does not result in a substantial transformation. The assembled floral arrangement does not have a distinctive name, character or use different from the unassembled artificial foliage, and therefore is a good of China for marking purposes.

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 Alice J. Wong at 646-733-3026.


Robert B. Swierupski

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