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NY N017764

October 12, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 8306.29.0000

Mr. Charles Newton
MSR Customs Corporation
Peace Bridge Plaza
P.O. Box 230
Buffalo, New York 14213-0230

RE: The country of origin and tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of moss-filled wire plant baskets from Canada; Article 509

Dear Mr. Newton:

In your letter dated September 21, 2007, on behalf of Braun Nursery Ltd., you requested a ruling on the status of moss lined hanging baskets from Canada under the NAFTA. The sample which you submitted is being retained by this office.

The merchandise under consideration is a white, plastic-coated, steel wire, hanging basket with a moss mat liner (item number 7HCF3CAO-G0012OO). The basket measures approximately 12 inches in diameter by 6-1/2 inches in height and comes with a 16-inch long, 3-strand chain and a hook for hanging. It is used to hold and display garden plants. The wire basket is made in China and exported to Canada. The moss mat liner is made from a base of wood fiber matting and a moss top coat. The wood fiber matting is made in the U.S. where it is broken down into fiber using a hammer mill, a blender and a conveyor system, then dried in an oven and matted into a roll before exportation to Canada. The moss is made in China. It is imported into Canada where it is shredded, cleaned and applied to the surface of the wood fiber matting with glue. The respective weights of these components are: wood fiber- 53.5%, moss- 46% and glue- 0.5%. The resultant material is then cut to size and shape and inserted into the baskets in Canada.

The wire basket and moss mat liner make up a composite good. Your letter indicates that you believe it to be a functional article and, therefore, classification under subheading 7326.20.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), is requested. Explanatory Note 83.06(B) states that heading 8306 covers “articles which have no utility value but are wholly ornamental, and articles whose only usefulness is to contain or support other decorative articles or to add to their decorative effect.” It is the opinion of this office that the purpose of the moss-lined hanging basket is to hold and support a garden plant and to enhance its decorative effect. As such, the hanging basket falls within the provisions of heading 8306, HTSUS.

The applicable tariff provision for the moss-filled hanging basket will be 8306.29.0000, HTSUS, which provides for statuettes and other ornaments of base metal, and parts thereof. The general 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/.

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.

The country of origin marking requirements for a "good of a NAFTA country" are also determined in accordance with Annex 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), as implemented by section 207 of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat 2057) (December 8, 1993) and the appropriate Customs Regulations. The Marking Rules used for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country are contained in Part 102, Customs Regulations. The marking requirements of these goods are set forth in Part 134, Customs Regulations.

Section 102.1 of the Customs Regulations sets forth the "NAFTA Marking Rules" for purposes of determining whether a good is a good of NAFTA country for marking purposes. Section 102.11 sets forth the required hierarchy for determining country of origin for marking purposes. Section 102.11(a) states that the country of origin of a good is the country in which:

(1) The good is wholly obtained or produced; The good is produced exclusively from domestic materials; or Each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in section 102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section, and all other applicable requirements of these rules are satisfied.

Sections 102.11(a)(1) and 102.11(a)(2) do not apply. The wire basket is classified in subheading 8306.29.0000, HTSUS. According to Section 102.20 for 8306-8307, a change must occur to heading 8306 through 8307 from any other heading, including another heading within that group. Since the foreign-made wire basket does not undergo the appropriate tariff shift, section 102.11(a)(3) does not apply.

Section 102.11(b) states that except for a good that is specifically described in the Harmonized System as a set, or is classified as a set pursuant to General Rule of Interpretation 3, where the country of origin cannot be determined under paragraph (a) of this section:

The country of origin of the good is the country or countries of origin of the single material that imparts the essential character to the good

When determining the essential character of a good under section 102.11, section 102.18(b) provides that only domestic and foreign materials that are classified in a tariff provision from which a change is not allowed shall be taken into consideration, and that in deciding among these materials, consideration is given to various factors, including the nature of the material or component, bulk, quantity, weight, value, and the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

Based upon the above factors, we find that the wire basket is the single component that imparts the essential character to the plant basket. Accordingly, the country of origin of the moss-filled plant basket, pursuant to section 102.11(b)(1) of the Customs Regulations, is China.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181).

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 Barbara Kaiser at 646-733-3024.


Robert B. Swierupski

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