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NY N012704

June 26, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.9980; 6307.90.8940; 9506.39.0080

Mr. Stephen M. Zelman
Stephen M. Zelman & Associates
888 Seventh Avenue-Suite 4500
New York, NY 10106

RE: The tariff classification of a golfer’s water bottle assortment from China

Dear Mr. Zelman:

In your letter dated June 7, 2007, on behalf of Fownes Brothers & Co., Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The sample submitted with your letter is identified as a “golfer’s water bottle,” article #810. The water bottle is molded from plastics and has a screw-on lid that is connected to a collar around the neck of the bottle. The bottle is imported packed with 50 wooden golf tees and a small cotton terry towel. The tri-fold towel has a metal grommeted hole at the top through which is looped a metal clip. The clip is used to hang the towel onto a golf bag or golf cart.

The sample is being returned as you requested.

You suggest separate classification for each of the components in this assortment since, while their uses may be complementary, they are not designed to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Tariff System (EN’s) provide guidance in the interpretation of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System at the international level. Explanatory Note X to GRI 3(b) provides that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods that: (a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings; (b) consist of articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and (c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

This office agrees that the golfer’s water bottle assortment is not considered to be a set for tariff classification purposes since the components are not put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity. Therefore, the contents must be classified separately.

You suggest classification for the water bottle in subheading 3923.30.0090, HTSUS, which provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics, since the bottles are used for the conveyance of liquids. In HQ 952264, dated November 25, 1992, CBP addressed the EN’s to heading 3923 as they relate to subheading 3923.30.00, HTSUS. In that ruling, CBP distinguished the plastic sports bottles at issue therein from the EN’s description of plastics commonly used for the conveyance of all kinds of products. HQ ruled that heading 3923, HTSUS, pertained only to products for the packing and shipping of bulk and commercial goods, but not personal items. Therefore, subheading 3923.30.00, HTSUS, applies to bottles, such as beverage bottles, that are designed to be filled and sold to the ultimate consumer with a beverage therein, but not to containers that will be filled by the end user with a beverage of the user’s personal choice. CBP has repeatedly adhered to this standard. See HQ 960373, dated February 8, 1999, HQ 961434, dated March 19, 1999, and HQ 963204, dated August 15, 2001.

The applicable subheading for the plastic water bottle will be 3926.90.9980, 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.

You suggest classification for the wooden golf tees in subheading 4421.90.97, HTSUS, which provides for other articles of wood. However, the golf tees are more specifically described in heading 9506 of the HTSUS as golf equipment. In addition, chapter 44 legal note 1(p) states that the chapter does not cover “Articles of chapter 95 (for example, toys, games, sports equipment).”

The applicable subheading for the golf tees will be 9506.39.0080, HTSUS, which provides for golf clubs and other golf equipment; parts and accessories thereof: otherother. The rate of duty will be 4.9 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the golf towel will be 6307.90.8940, HTSUS, which provides for other made up articles, including dress patterns: other: other: cotton towels of pile or tufted construction. The rate of duty will be 7 percent 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.

The golf towel falls within textile category 363. Textile category designation 363 from China falls within the quantitative restrictions between the United States and China, commonly referred to as China Safeguards or Safeguard Quotas. Quota and visa requirements are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information on quota and visa requirements applicable to this merchandise, we suggest you check, close to the time of shipment, the "Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas" which is available on our web site at www.cbp.gov. For current information regarding possible textile safeguard actions on goods from China and related issues, we refer you to the web site of the Office of Textiles and Apparel of the Department of Commerce at otexa.ita.doc.gov.

You ask whether the current marking of a label printed “Made in China” on the bottom of the water bottle satisfies the country of origin marking requirements for the assortment. 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 container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

In the opinion of this office, the single marking on the bottle does not clearly indicate to the ultimate purchaser that the marking applies to not only the water bottle but to the towel and golf tees packed inside the water bottle. Each component, the water bottle, towel and golf tees, must be marked with its own country of origin. In the alternative, if the towel and golf tees are imported inside the water bottle, marking on the water bottle alone may suffice if the marking clearly indicates that it applies to all of the contents, e.g., marking such as “Bottle, towel and golf tees made in China.”

Please note that separate Federal Trade Commission marking requirements exist regarding country of origin, fiber content, and other information that must appear on many textile items. You should contact the Federal Trade Commission, Division of Enforcement, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20580, for information on the applicability of these requirements to the golf towel. Information can also be found at the FTC website www.ftc.gov (click on “For Business” and then on “Textile, Wool, Fur”). Even if the country of origin marking requirements are met by a label on the bottle that refers to the country of origin of the contents, FTC requirements may necessitate marking the country of origin as well as the fiber content and RN number on a sewn-in label on the golf towel.

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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