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NY M85758

September 7, 2006

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 M85758


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.2500; 3926.90.9880; 6307.90.9889

Ms. Jeanne Berg
All Freight International, Inc.
131 S.W. 156th Street, #200
Seattle, Washington 98166

RE: The tariff classification of bag components from China.

Dear Ms. Berg:

In your letter dated August 4, 2006, on behalf of Carry Gear Solutions, LLC, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Carry Gear Solutions plans to import components for assembly into customized carry cases identified as “beta boxes.” Final assembly of the beta box will take place in the United States. The modular units are cut and semi-finished in China, and then shipped to the client’s facilities for final assembly. The exterior of the case can be customized in color and pattern and the interior can be customized with organizational features to suit the lifestyle needs of the individual end-user. Shipments will be structured so that each component will be packaged in separate cartons, and the top and bottom panels and their associated components will be shipped on separate vessels on separate days. The samples included with this request are the top and bottom panels, the egg crate liner, the carry handle, the divider lid and a hanger hook.

The beta box top and bottom panels are rigid panels that have been molded to incorporate an internal cavity so that the two sides, when joined together, form a suitcase type body. The panels are constructed from ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVA) foam bonded to polyurethane coated knit fabric using textile glue, cut to the specific shape of the top or bottom panel, and then mold formed using a thermal compression molding process. The panels are not interchangeable, since the bottom has a deeper depression than the top. The egg crate liner is made of polyurethane foam and is in the form of a rectangle with rounded corners. One surface is flat and the other surface incorporates egg crate depressions. The carry handle is made of a thermoplastic elastomeric material with polypropylene webbing. The thermoplastic elastomer accounts for 72 percent of the weight and almost 97 percent of the value of the handle. The divider lid is made of EVA foam. It is in the form of a rectangle with rounded corners and two holes punched toward the middle to form finger grips so that it may be pulled out easily. The hanger hook consists of a plastic hook on a nylon attachment strap.

The applicable subheading for the beta box top and bottom panels, for the egg crate liner, and for the foam divider lid will be 3926.90.9880, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for other articles of plastics, other. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the thermoplastic handle will be 3926.90.2500, HTSUS, which provides for other articles of plasticshandles and knobs, not elsewhere specified or included, of plastics. The rate of duty will be 6.5 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the hanger hook with nylon attachment strap will be 6307.90.9889, HTSUS, which provides for other made up textile articles, other. The rate of duty will be 7% ad valorem.

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

You also ask about the country of origin marking requirements. You submitted a copy of a label that is marked “Assembled in the U.S.A. from parts made in China.”

Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that unless excepted, every article of foreign origin 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. Congressional intent in enacting 19 U.S.C. 1304 was "that the ultimate purchaser should be able to know by an inspection of the marking on the imported goods the country of which the goods is the product. The evident purpose is to mark the goods so that at the time of purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will." [United States v. Friedlaender & Co, 27 C.C.P.A. 297 at 302; C.A.D. 104 (1940)].

The "country of origin" for marking purposes is defined by section 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)), to mean the country of manufacture, production, or growth. 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" for marking purposes. In determining whether the combining of parts or materials constitutes a substantial transformation, the issue is the extent of operations performed and whether the parts lose their identity and become an integral part of the new article. [Belcrest Linens v. United States, 573 F. Supp. 1149 (CIT 1983), aff'd, 741 F.2d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 1984)]. Assembly operations which are minimal or simple, as opposed to complex or meaningful, will generally not result in a substantial transformation. See C.S.D. 85-25. In this case, the imported components are not substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing. The country of origin of the assembled beta box is considered to be China.

You propose marking the finished bag “Assembled in the U.S.A. from parts made in China.” Pursuant to 19 CFR §134.43(e), the marking "Assembled in USA” is acceptable only if the country of origin of the finished box is the United States. Since the finished beta box is considered to be a product of China, the completed bag must be marked to indicate China as the country of origin. An acceptable marking would be “Product of China-Assembled in the U.S.A.”

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 Joan Mazzola at 646-733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

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