United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2007 NY Rulings > NY N004197 - NY N004276 > NY N004200

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY N004200

December 28, 2006



TARIFF NO.: 9705.00.0090

Ms. Tara Tompkins
Eighteen Karat International Product Sourcing Inc. 5292 - 272nd Street
Langley, British Columbia. Canada V4W 1S3

RE: The tariff classification of natural mineral stones from Morocco.

Dear Ms. Tompkins:

In your letter dated November 23, 2006, you requested a tariff classification and country of origin marking ruling.

Samples were provided with your letter. The Selenite Desert Roses Stones, (46544 and 46545) are natural mineral stones mined in Morocco. They were formed 140 - 200 million years ago. Selenite is a hydrous calcium sulfate. It is a glassy, well-crystallized form of gypsum. They are naturally occurring stones, not cultured. Other than being cut to size there is no further processing done on the stones following the manual extraction of the rock form the earth. The stones are not polished; they are imported in their natural state. These mineral stones are marketed as decorations or collectibles for the home. As you requested, the samples will be returned.

The applicable subheading for the Selenite Desert Roses Stones will be 9705.00.0090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for collections and collectors’ pieces of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, anatomical, historical, archeological, paleontological, ethnographic or numismatic interest, other. 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 HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

You have also inquired about the country of origin marking requirements. You claim that due to the nature of the minerals it is not possible to permanently mark them with the country of origin. You also claim that labels will not adhere to the surface, and that marking through stamping, engraving or similar methods would damage the mineral stones. At the time of importation, the stones will be wrapped in plastic bubble wrap for protection against damage, and will arrive in cardboard shipping boxes which are not suitable for presentation within a retail store. The mineral stones will be sold to retailers for open display on their shelves.

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. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the mineral stones is the consumer who purchases the product at retail.

Section 134.32, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32), Subpart D, sets forth certain classes of articles, which are excepted from individual country of marking requirements. Among these excepted articles are "articles which were produced more than 20 years prior to their importation to the United States." The mineral stones have not been polished, cut or in any way improved. They have simply been excavated, and are therefore exempt from marking under this exception.

However, Section 134.22(a) Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.22(a)), states that “ when an article is excepted from the marking requirements by Subpart D of this part, the outermost container or holder in which the article ordinarily reaches the ultimate purchaser shall be marked to indicate the country of origin of the article whether or not the article is marked to indicate its country of origin.”

In this instance, you state the boxes or containers will not be used for the display of the mineral stones when sold to the ultimate purchaser. However, brochures will be available for the ultimate purchaser. The brochures will include information on the product itself and its origin.

The above scenario is adequate to enable the ultimate purchaser to determine the country of origin, and neither the mineral stones nor their containers need be marked with the country of origin.

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 Lawrence Mushinske at 646-733-3036.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: