Ms. Paula Girod
E.R. Hawthorne & Co., Inc.
9370 Wallisville Road
Houston, TX 77013
RE: The tariff classification and marking of woodwind musical instruments from China.
Dear Ms, Girod:
In your letter dated June 12, 2003, on behalf of Vanguard S.Y. Music Co., you requested a tariff classification and marking ruling. Sample is being returned as requested.
The submitted sample is an alto saxophone with a fitted molded plastic carrying case that also contains a pair of white cotton gloves, a cleaning cloth, a cleaning tool, and a neck strap, noting this sample lacks country of origin marking. It is stated that there will also be imported such instruments as clarinets and flutes.
The applicable subheading for the alto saxophone and its accessories in a fitted carrying case will be 9205.90.4040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other wind musical instruments…other: woodwind instruments: other, saxophones. The rate of duty will be 4.9 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for clarinets will be 9205.90.4020, HTS, which provides for other wind musical instruments…other: woodwind instruments: other, clarinets. The rate of duty will be 4.9 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for flutes, not of bamboo, will be 9205.90.4060, HTS, which provides for other wind musical instruments…other: woodwind instruments: other, flutes and piccolos (except bamboo). The rate of duty will be 4.9 percent ad valorem.
In regard to the proper marking of the merchandise, 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.
As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.
With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.
Therefore, this merchandise which lacks the country of origin marking should be conspicuously, legibly and permanently marked in accordance with the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134.
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 George Kalkines at 646-733-3028.
Robert B. Swierupski