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NY N025915

May 9, 2008



TARIFF NO.: 6802.99.0060

Mr. Peter Hadjiev
1231 Man O War Place #1
Lexington, Kentucky 40504

RE: The tariff classification of schist from Bulgaria

Dear Mr. Hadjiev:

In your letter dated March 25, 2008, you requested a tariff classification ruling, on behalf of Buechel Stone Corporation, regarding a building stone - style 1BSTBUE06001PL.

Samples were submitted with your ruling request.

Although you referred to the stone as “slate,” you indicated that the actual composition of this stone is schist, not slate.

You indicated that the stone would be imported in lengths varying from four inches to twelve inches, with varying widths and varying thicknesses.

The information which you submitted indicates that the schist is worked prior to importation.

You stated that the planes of the schist as well as its edges are carefully chiseled to flatten or smooth the surface of the stone. You also stated that both the faces and the edges of the stone pieces are worked to achieve specific patterns, shapes and sizes. According to the information which you submitted, these pieces are machine worked after being chiseled and shaped.

  The applicable subheading for the schist - style number 1BSTBUE06001PL - will be 6802.99.0060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for worked monumental or building stone (except slate) and articles thereofother: other stone. The rate of duty will be 6.5 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/.

You also inquired regarding the country of origin marking of the stone.

You asked about the acceptability of simply marking the plastic wrapping which will cover the imported pallets of stone in lieu of marking the individual pieces of stone.

In your letter you indicated that after importation into the United States the stones would be repackaged in boxes and resold to wholesalers or retailers who would in turn resell the stone to construction companies, contractors, individuals, etc.

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 the port director of Customs at the port of entry is satisfied that an article will remain in its container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the product by viewing the container in which it is packaged, the individual article could be exempted from marking under this provision. When we are certain that the ultimate purchaser will receive the imported product in the container in which it is imported, marking of that container could be regarded as acceptable country of origin marking.

However, in this case marking the container in which the merchandise is imported clearly is not an acceptable substitute for marking the stones themselves, because the ultimate purchaser will not receive the stones in this container. Your letter indicates that the stones will be removed from this packaging and resold. Furthermore, your clients’ customers will resell this merchandise in turn. The stones could be packaged and repackaged several times.

In these circumstances, merely marking the container in which the stones will be imported will not convey the information about the country of origin to the ultimate purchaser. Even if the importer will place the country of origin marking on the boxes in which he repacks the stones in the United States, this also will not convey the information about country of origin to the ultimate purchaser, since the products will be resold (and possibly repacked) by the importer’s customers. Since the stones may be repacked several times, the importer cannot be certain that any marked packaging will reach the ultimate purchaser. (When the ultimate purchaser is an individual consumer, he or she may receive the product without any packaging.)

The ultimate purchaser is too far removed from the importer to allow for an exception to the requirement of marking the articles themselves. Therefore, each stone piece must be marked with its country of origin in a legible, indelible, conspicuous and permanent manner. In this case, the marking of the wrapping on the pallet in which the goods will be imported is not an acceptable substitute for marking the articles themselves.

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 Jacob Bunin at 646-733-3027.


Robert B. Swierupski

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