MAR-2 OT: RR: NC: N4:410

Ms. Allison Kepkay
White & Case LLP
701 13th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005

RE: The Country of Origin of Vacuum Cleaners from Vietnam and Applicability of Section 301 Trade Remedies. Correction to Ruling Number N305221

Dear Ms. Kepkay:

This replaces Ruling Number N305221, dated August 7, 2019, which contained a clerical error in the tariff number. A complete corrected ruling follows:

This is in response to your letter dated July 10, 2019, on behalf of your client Midea U.S.A., Inc., requesting a country of origin determination on vacuum cleaners. You have also inquired if additional Section 301 Trade Remedy duties will be applicable to your product.

The merchandise under consideration is identified as the “vacuum cleaners, the NEU52 Series.” This model series includes eight models of upright, electric-powered vacuum cleaners designed for household use rated 960W with dust receptacle (dust cup) capacity of 4.1 L. The vacuum cleaners are packaged for sale to individual consumers. Each unit is sold in a single package together with its corresponding accessories. Depending on the model within the series, the accessories may include a handle, dusting brush, hose, crevice tool, turbo brush, and a multi-angle adapter. The models within the series vary slightly because they are sold to different markets with different color schemes, different accessories, or slightly different features. All models use the same platform, with only one or two parts that might vary between models in the series.

The applicable subheading for “vacuum cleaners, the NEU52 Series” will be 8508.11.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Vacuum cleaners; parts thereof: With self-contained electric motor: Of a power not exceeding 1,500 W and having a dust bag or other receptacle capacity not exceeding 20 l.” The general rate of duty will be Free.

You present a processing scenario for the entire NEU52 Series for the country of origin determination. Under the scenario, the product’s materials and components are sourced from China and Vietnam and its final processing occurs in Vietnam. The NEU52 Series is made from over 54 components and sub-assemblies. Approximately 44% of the listed components and sub-assemblies, such as brushes, pedals, crevice tools, motor with rubber and plastic parts, washer and nuts, certain wiring, handle hose assembly, etc., are imported from China. The remaining components are of Vietnamese origin.

The production of the completed vacuum cleaners at Midea’s facility in Vietnam consists of both the production of several of the product’s key sub-assemblies using the Chinese originating and Vietnamese originating components and materials and the unit’s final assembly.

The laborers involved in the production of the vacuum cleaners in Vietnam include electricians, product engineers, test engineers and workers who are specially trained to ensure the product’s quality and specifications. Key sub-assemblies manufactured in the Vietnamese factory include the body (back pipe), the upper and lower motor sub-assemblies, and the dust cup. The provided step-by-step assembly details show that the assembly process takes 3 to 23 steps to finish the manufacture of each sub-assembly. Once built, the sub-assemblies are combined with approximately 40 other parts sourced from both China and Vietnam, and the components are sent to the main assembly line for production of the finished vacuums. The main assembly line production consists of 25 distinct steps, generally divided between (A) assembly/manufacture, (B) testing, and (C) packing. Each unique step is carried out by a different worker.

Section 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. § 134.1(b)), defines "country of origin" as the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the “country of origin”.

Based on the information submitted, the materials and components (brushes, pedals, crevice tools, motor with rubber and plastic parts, washer and nuts, certain wiring, handle hose assembly, etc.) are imported into Vietnam. They are manufactured into different subassemblies and ultimately assembled into the subject NEU52 Series vacuum cleaners.

The manufacturing processes in Vietnam transform the Chinese originating components and materials to make the sub-assemblies and to assemble the sub-assemblies which produce the finished vacuum cleaners. The procedures in Vietnam create a new and different article of commerce with a distinct character and use that is not previously inherent in the Chinese components. As such, we find that the processing performed in Vietnam does constitute a substantial transformation of the imported materials and components into "products of" Vietnam. Therefore, the "product of" requirement has been satisfied. The country of origin of the imported vacuums is Vietnam

You also request a determination on whether or not the merchandise is subject to additional duties under Section 301(b) of the Trade Act of 1974 (“Section 301 measures”). As the country of origin for the NEU52 Series vacuum cleaners will be Vietnam, not China, the Section 301 measures will not apply.

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 Michael Chen at [email protected].


Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division