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NY N022835

March 4, 2008

MAR-2 OT:RR:E:NC:N1:102


Ms. Cheryl M. Smith
Star USA Incorporated
250 North Davis Road
Ashland, Ohio 44805


Dear Ms. Smith:

This is in response to your letter dated February 4, 2008, on behalf of the Parflex Division of the Parker Hannifin Corporation, hereinafter “Parflex”, requesting a ruling on the marking of imported parts for hydraulic hose fittings. Descriptive information, including technical drawings, was submitted with your letter.

      The articles in question are described as Parflex 55, 58, and 58H Series Shells, which are components, used in the assembly of hydraulic hose fittings. The finished fittings are used in conjunction with hose to form fluid connections within the hydraulic systems found in agricultural equipment, trucks, off-road equipment, and machine tools, as well as in other fluid transfer systems.

      You indicate that Parflex assembles hydraulic hose and hose fittings in the United States, importing shells for the assembly process from China. In some cases, Parflex cuts the hose to shorter lengths, attaches finished hose fittings, and then resells the hose assembly. In other cases, Parflex resells finished fittings and hose in bulk to distributors. The distributors then cut the hose, affix the fittings, and resell the hose assembly. You indicate that imported parts of fittings are used solely by Parflex to produce finished fittings and are never sold individually in their condition as imported.

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. 19 CFR 134.1(d)(1) states that if an imported article will be used in manufacture, the manufacturer may be the ultimate purchaser if he subjects the imported article to a process which results in a substantial transformation of the article. The case of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98) (1940), provides that an article used in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article will be considered substantially transformed and that the manufacturer or processor will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the constituent materials. In such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked. See 19 CFR 134.35.

In this case, Parflex is the ultimate purchaser of the imported shells because the parts used in the production of hose fittings are substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing performed by Parflex. Accordingly, the imported shells are excepted from marking and only the outermost container in which they are imported is required to be marked.

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 Kenneth Brock at 646-733-3009.


Robert B. Swierupski

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