Mr. Larry Stone
Art In Motion LP
2000 Brigantine Drive
Coquitlam, British Columbia
Canada V3K 7B7
RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of U.S. lithographs matted and framed in China; Article 509
Dear Mr. Stone:
In your letter dated February 4, 2005, you requested a tariff classification and marking ruling.
Your request concerns U.S.-made lithographs (lithographically printed reproductions, on paper, of original paintings), which will be shipped to China for matting and framing. In China, frames will be produced by cutting polystyrene molding to length and fastening the sides of the frame together with vee-nails. Clear float glass will be cut to size and placed in the center of the frame. A mat board also will be cut to size and glued to the back of the print. The matted print will then be placed in the frame behind the glass and stapled into place along the edge of the frame. Kraft paper backing will be glued to the back of the frame and a metal hanger will be screwed into the back of the frame. Aside from the vee-nails, which originate from Italy, all other framing materials originate from China. The completed framed print will then be shipped from China to the United States.
You state that this scenario is the same as the one described in Headquarters Ruling 562995, issued to you on May 25, 2004, except that in the present case the lithographic prints sent to China are made in the United States rather than in Canada. Samples of framed and unframed lithographs were submitted for our review in connection with the previous ruling.
You ask for our determination of the proper tariff classification/duty rate for the finished, framed prints, as imported into the United States from China. You also seek a decision as to the country-of-origin marking requirements applicable to these products.
The applicable subheading for the matted, framed prints from China will be 4911.91.3000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other (than certain enumerated) printed matter: pictures, designs and photographs: lithographs on paper or paperboard: over 0.51 mm in thickness. The rate of duty will be Free.
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.
Part 102 of the Customs Regulations sets forth the "NAFTA Marking Rules" for purposes of determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country for marking purposes. Section 102.11 of the regulations sets forth the required hierarchy for determining country of origin for marking purposes.
Applying the NAFTA Marking Rules set forth in Part 102 of the regulations to the facts of this case, we find that the imported matted, framed prints are goods of the United States for marking purposes. Accordingly, the goods will not be required to have any country of origin marking pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304 when imported into the United States.
We note for your information that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has jurisdiction over the marking of U.S.-made articles. Any inquiries on that subject should be directed to: Federal Trade Commission, Division of Enforcement, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20508.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 181).
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 Carl Abramowitz at 646-733-3037.
Robert B. Swierupski