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NY N018790

November 21, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 4504.90.0000

Mr. Joshua D. Wright
CoolCorC LLC
516 Tennessee Street
Suite 231
Memphis, TN 38103

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of Cup Cork Sleeves from China

Dear Mr. Wright:

In your letter dated October 19, 2007, you requested a tariff classification ruling on cup cork sleeves. In addition, you requested a ruling on whether the proposed method of marking the container in which the cup cork sleeves are imported with the country of origin, in lieu of marking the article itself, is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported product. A marked sample container was not submitted with your letter for review, but two pictures were submitted.

The subject cup sleeves are made from agglomerated cork sheet that are cut in a conical shape and the ends joined together with an adhesive. The cork sleeves are designed to fit around a cup to insulate the hand from the hot or cold contents of the cup.

The applicable subheading for the cup sleeves made of agglomerated cork will be 4504.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for agglomerated cork (with or without a binding substance) and articles of agglomerated cork, 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 state that the cup cork sleeves will be imported and sold only to coffee shops in cases of 1000 and 2000 sleeves. Each case will be marked “Made in China.” The cup cork sleeves will not be resold, individually or in groups, by the coffee shops or by anyone. The sleeves will be placed in disposable cups and given to customers purchasing coffee. Generally, the customers would dispose of the cup and the cork sleeve.

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.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. Accordingly, if Customs is satisfied that the article will remain in its container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser (coffee shops) and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the cork sleeves by viewing the container in which it is packaged, the individual cork sleeves would be excepted from marking under this provision.

In this case, we find that the cork sleeves which are imported in containers that are marked in the manner described above, are excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d). Accordingly, marking the container in which the cork sleeves are imported and sold to the ultimate purchaser in lieu of marking the article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported cork sleeves provided the port director is satisfied that the article will remain in the marked container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser.

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 Paul Garretto at 646-733-3035.


Robert B. Swierupski

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