Mr. Louis S. Shoichet
Tompkins & Davidson, LLP
One Astor Plaza
New York, NY 10036-8901
RE: The tariff classification of plastic bottle preforms from Mexico, Brazil, Poland and/or China.
Dear Mr. Shoichet:
In your letter dated April 30, 1999, on behalf of Avon Products, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.
A sample was provided with your letter. The preform is tubular shaped and approximately 4 1/2 inches in length and 3/4 inch in diameter at the neck. The neck is threaded and finished to receive a cap. After importation, Avon will expand the preform to its desired shape and size and fill the bottle with toiletry products for retail sale. As you requested, the sample is being returned.
The applicable subheading for the preform will be 3923.30.0090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics...carboys, bottles, flasks and similar articles, other. The duty rate will be 3 percent ad valorem.
You also inquired about the country of origin marking requirements. Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. §1304), requires that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit,
in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article. Section 134.1(d), Customs Regulations [19 C.F.R. §134.1(d)], defines "ultimate purchaser" as "generally the last person in the United States who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported.
Section 134.24(b), Customs Regulations [19 C.F.R. §134.24(b)], provides that disposable containers, not designed or capable of reuse, which are imported empty and packed and sold in multiple units, need not be individually marked with the country of origin. The marking requirements may be met by marking the outermost container which reaches the ultimate purchaser.
Avon, which will complete the preforms and fill the resultant bottles with toiletries, is considered to be the ultimate purchaser of the preforms. Therefore, the preforms may be excepted from individual marking provided the shipping containers in which they are imported are marked to indicate the country of origin of the preforms, and the Customs officers at the port of entry are satisfied that the shipping containers will reach the ultimate purchaser unopened.
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 Joan Mazzola at 212-637-7034.
Robert B. Swierupski