MAR 2-05 CO:R:C:V 735542
Mr. Ed Baker
A. N. Deringer, Inc.
30 West Service Road
Champlain, N.Y. 12919
RE: Country of origin marking; classification; hose assembly for hoses for vacuum cleaners; NAFTA Marking Rules
Dear Mr. Baker:
This is in response to your letter dated February 8, 1993, submitted on behalf of Tiger-Vac. Inc., requesting a ruling on the tariff classification and country of origin marking requirements of a rubber hose assembly. Your request was forwarded to us by Customs, New York Seaport, for response. We regret the delay in responding.
The article in question is a hose assembly for a vacuum cleaner, item #75A, P/N 381120. This article is assembled in Canada from:
1. U.S. origin Flexible Neoprene Hose (item #74D, P/N 381180)
2. U.S. origin Stainless Steel Male Connector (item #60, P/N 381147)
3. Metal Female Adaptor (item #73, P/N 381144) assembled in Canada from
i. metal adaptor (Taiwanese origin) and
ii. aluminum tubing (Canadian origin).
The hose is indelibly marked "Made in USA" throughout the length of the hose.
1. What is the classification of the imported hose assembly?
2. How should the imported hose assembly be marked?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
The classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by a the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUS, states in part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...."
Upon importation into the U.S., the hose assembly is classified under subheading 8509.90.15, HTSUS, which provides for "Electromechanical domestic appliances, with self-contained electric motor; parts thereof...Parts....Parts of vacuum cleaners...Other...."
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN MARKING
Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that unless excepted, every article of foreign origin 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 the exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented under the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057 (December 8, 1993). NAFTA Annex 311 provides for the promulgation of "Marking Rules" used for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country and sets forth general marking principles pertaining to the methods and procedures relating to the country of origin marking of such goods.
The NAFTA Marking Rules are set forth in Treasury Decision (T.D.) 94-4, published in the Federal Register (59 FR 110) on January 3, 1994, as interim regulations. Corrections to the interim regulations were published on February 3, 1994 (59 FR 5082). Additional provisions implementing Annex 311 of the NAFTA are contained in the interim regulations amending part 134, Customs Regulations, published as T.D. 94-1 in the Federal Register (58 FR 69460) on December 30, 1993.
Section 134.1(b), of the interim Customs Regulations states that for a good of a NAFTA country, the NAFTA Marking Rules will determine the country of origin. Under §134.1(g) of the interim regulations, a "good of a NAFTA country" is an article for which the country of origin is Canada, Mexico or the United States as determined under the NAFTA Marking Rules.
The NAFTA Marking Rules appear in Part 102 of the interim regulations published as T.D. 94-4. 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; (2) The good is produced exclusively from domestic materials; or (3) Each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in §102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section, and all other applicable requirements of these rules are satisfied.
In order to determine the country of origin marking requirements of the imported rubber hose assembly, we must determine its country of origin under the NAFTA Marking Rules. Since the hose assembly is not wholly obtained or produced in Canada or produced exclusively from domestic materials in Canada, we must determine whether under section §102.11(a)(3) each foreign material incorporated in the assembly undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in §102.20 in Canada. "Foreign material" is defined in §102.1(e) as a material whose country of origin as determined under these rules is not the same as the country in which the good is produced. As determined above, the imported hose assembly is classified under subheading 8509.90.15, HTSUS. §102.20(p) provides the applicable tariff shift rule for this subheading as follows:
"A change to subheading 8509.10 from any other heading, except heading 8501 when resulting from simple assembly."
The foreign materials incorporated in the hose assembly are the Taiwanese-origin metal adapter, the U.S.-origin hose imported into Canada in 50 foot coils, and the U.S.-origin stainless steel male connector for one end of the hose. None of these materials is classified in heading 8509 or 8501. The U.S.-origin flexible neoprene hose is classified in heading 4006 or 4009. The exact classification is dependent upon whether the tube is vulcanized. The U.S.-origin stainless steel male connector and Taiwanese-origin base metal adaptor appear to be classified in heading 7326. Accordingly, each foreign material incorporated in the imported hoses undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification in Canada and the country of origin of the finished product for marking purposes is Canada.
The hose assembly must be marked legibly, conspicuously and permanently to indicate the name of the country of origin, i.e., Canada, to the ultimate purchaser in the United States. (Without information regarding how the hose assembly will be used after importation and to whom it is sold, we cannot determine whether
it is eligible for any of the exceptions from marking specified in 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR 134.32(d)). It is unacceptable to import the hose assembly with "Made in USA" markings on the hose unless it can be made clear that the hose assembly is a product of Canada. We suggest either removing the "Made in USA" marking or discussing possible remedies with Customs officials at the port of entry.
The hose assembly, item #75a, P/N 381120, is classified under subheading 8509.90.15, HTSUS, as other parts of vacuum cleaners, dutiable at the Column 1 rate of 3.4 percent ad valorem. The hose assembly must be marked Canada.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division