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NY N007496

March 15, 2007

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:224


Joseph R. Hoffacker
Barthco International Inc.
5101 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia PA 19112-1404

RE: The country of origin marking of a Star Wars Trick HoverDisc™.

Dear Mr. Hoffacker:

This is in response to your letter dated February 23, 2007, on behalf of KB Toys, requesting a ruling on whether a proposed marking is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported Star Wars Trick HoverDiscs. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

It is stated that the subject product, identified as item #931 Star Wars Trick HoverDisc (“HoverDisc”) is imported from China, and that the HoverDiscs are assembled in China from component parts manufactured in China and the United States. The main components are said to be a U.S. made circular balloon material that has been die cut to shape, heat sealed and printed upon, and fiberglass rods, brass connectors, heat shrink tubing and colored stickers made and purchased in China for assembly in the balloons. The assembly operation is stated to consist of inserting the fiberglass rod into the perimeter of the balloon, connecting the ends of the rods with the brass connectors and heat shrink tubes, heating the heat shrink tubes with a hot blower so that the heat shrink tube contracts encapsulating the brass connector and helping to secure the connector with the rod ends, covering the connector area with colored stickers and finally, packaging the completed disc with other accessories (straw and instruction sheet) in a polybag and then a printed envelope package.

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.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

Section 134.1(b) defines “country of origin” as the country of manufacture, production or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S. 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 the marking laws and regulations.

In these circumstances, the assembly operations performed in China do not result in a substantial transformation of the component parts of the balloon HoverDisc. In our opinion, the U.S. made balloon material, and the Chinese made rods, connectors, tubing, straws, and stickers assembled into the balloons in China do not create a new and different article of commerce, and that the name and use of the component parts do not change as a result of the assembly process. Additionally, we find that the assembly process described above is not exceedingly complex.

Accordingly, based on the information provided, it is our opinion that the HoverDisc is not substantially transformed as a result of the assembly operations performed in China. As the balloon component is the essence of the finished HoverDisc article and it is of U.S. origin, the country of origin of the finished HoverDisc will be the U.S. and, therefore, the finished HoverDisc will not be required to be marked with a foreign country of origin pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304 and specifically 19 C.F.R. 134.32(m).

In answer to your specific requests on suggested markings, the mark “Assembled in China from components manufactured in China and the U.S” would be an acceptable marking for the HoverDisc. Alternatively, based on the circumstances explained above, you may choose to mark the product “Made in the U.S.” However, regarding this latter mark, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Division of Enforcement, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20550, must decide questions regarding the acceptability of such a marking on the retail packaging. The FTC has primary responsibility under statutes when a “Made in USA” claim can be made.

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 Tom McKenna at 646-733-3025.


Robert B. Swierupski

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