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NY M85306

August 10, 2006

MAR-2 RR:NC:N1:101 M85306


Mr. Donald S. Simpson
Senior Vice President
Barthco Trade Consultants
5101 S Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19112-1404


Dear Mr. Simpson:

This is in response to your letter dated July 21, 2006 requesting a ruling on whether imported metal castings for automotive use are required to be individually marked with the country of origin if it is later to be processed in the U.S. by a U.S. manufacturer. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

You have requested, on behalf of your client Southland Metals, Inc., a request for an exemption from the marking requirements of Part 134.11 of the Customs Regulations.

You have listed eleven castings that are to be imported from China. The part numbers for these castings are: 23832, 23833, 23834, 23835, 23836, 1960006, 08677-01, 1098-05, 18273-01, 19792-00, and 20140-00.

Once imported, Southland exclusively sells these components to Tuthill Transport Technologies. Tuthill then machines these components and assembles them into vehicle suspensions. You claim that Tuthill has full knowledge of the country of origin (China) for these components.

You believe that because of the machining and assembly operations performed by Tuthill that Tuthill should be considered as the ultimate purchaser. You claim that the imported castings are used in the assembly of vehicle suspensions and are not stocked or sold as individual repair or replacement items.

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 castings are substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser of the imported castings 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 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 Robert DeSoucey at 646-733-3008.


Robert B. Swierupski

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