Mr. Quinn Lee
US -- China Trade International, LLC
7326 Harvest Hill Road
Madison, WI 53717
RE: The tariff classification of a motor from China.
Dear Mr. Lee:
In your letter dated June 11, 2002, you requested a ruling on tariff classification.
The merchandise is an electric motor, identified as PN CP070500. The motor is stated to be a DC motor of approximately 130W. The motors will be installed in gear boxes and sold to an automobile company for motor homes.
The applicable subheading for this product will be 8501.31.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other DC motors, of an output not exceeding 750 W, exceeding 74.6 W but not exceeding 735W. The general rate of duty will be 4 percent ad valorem.
Your letter also requests a ruling on country-of-origin marking. You state that your customer does not want a label on the motor, but wishes you to print “Made in China” on the outside package. 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. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d), defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. 19 C.F.R. §134.1(d)(1) states that if an imported article will be used in manufacture, providing that such manufacture results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article, it will be considered substantially transformed and the manufacturer or processor will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the constituent materials. In such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked. See, 19 C.F.R. §134.35.
However, a substantial transformation occurs only when articles lose their identity and become new articles having a new name, character or use. United States v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., 27 CCPA 267 at 270 (1940), National Juice Products Association v. United States, 10 CIT 48, 628 F. Supp. 978 (1986), Koru North America v. United States, 12 CIT ___, 701 F. Supp. 229 (CIT 1988).
We may assume from the slight information you have provided in your letter that no substantial transformation takes place in this instance. The merchandise in its imported condition is a motor, and a gear motor is also a motor. Since the processing in the U.S. does not change the name, character, or use of the article, it will not be substantially transformed and the article must be marked to indicate its country of origin “China”.
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 James Smyth at 646-733-3018.
Robert B. Swierupski