Mr. Steve von Dobschutz
P.O. Box 206
3900 Central Parkway
Hudsonville, MI 49426
RE: The tariff classification of components of automotive visual signaling equipment.
Dear Mr. Von Dobschutz:
In your letter dated September 5, 2006 you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The first item is a label. This label is purchased in bulk. The label is then attached to the faceplate of a control box for a vehicle light bar. The label material is 3M Velvet Lexan in 10 mil thickness. This label is pressure sensitive after a backing is peeled off.
The second item is a 4” Snap Ring. The snap ring is a molded plastic ring. It is intended to securely snap into place around a 4” LED vehicle light. The ring holds the light in place, and then the ring is held in place by three screws attached to the body of the vehicle. The lights are visual signaling lights.
The third item is a rubber foot assembly. This assembly consists of a rubber foot and a brass insert nut. The insert is molded into the rubber foot. You attach two rubber foot assemblies to an aluminum mounting bracket and then include two complete mounting bracket and other parts in accessory kit. In almost all cases the rubber foot assembly will be assembled to the mounting bracket before shipment to the distributor or end user, while upon occasion you may ship one or two rubber foot assemblies as replacement parts.
The fourth item is a mounting “bracket” for emergency vehicle lights. This bracket assembly is made of two plastic pivot bracket/plates attached by two steel bracket connectors with two carriage bolts, two nylon lock nuts, and two Belleville washers. The completed assembly also includes three plastic suction cups attached by three screws, and a strip of hook-and-loop self adhesive material inserted into the bag.
The fifth item is an aluminum base plate. You attach a strobe power supply circuit board to this plate, which acts as both a base for the housing and a heat sink.
The applicable subheading for the label will be 3919.90.5060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Self-adhesive plates, sheets, film, tape, strip and other flat shapes of plastics, whether or not in rolls: Other: Other: Other. The rate of duty will be 5.8 percent.
The applicable subheading for the second, third, fourth and fifth items will be 8512.90.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Electrical lighting or signaling equipment (excluding articles of heading 8539), windshield wipers, defrosters and demisters, of a kind used for cycles or motor vehicles: parts thereof: Parts: Of signaling equipment. The rate of duty will be 2.5 percent.
You have asked about the marking of these goods when they are imported in different combinations and variations.
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. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the goods is the consumer who purchases the product at retail.
An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. However, since the goods mentioned above are not imported in their marked retail container, whether the subject articles are excepted from individual marking under 19 CFR 134.32(d) is for the port director to decide. In this regard section 134.34, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.34), provides that an exception may be authorized at the discretion of the port director under 19 CFR 134.32(d) for imported articles which are to be repacked after release from Customs custody under the following conditions: (1) The containers in which the articles are repacked will indicate the origin of the articles to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S.; (2) The importer arranges for supervision of the marking of the containers by Customs officers at the importer's expense or secures such verification, as may be necessary, by certification and the submission of a sample or otherwise, of the marking prior to the liquidation of the entry.
In this case, assuming that the port director is satisfied that the imported goods will be repacked in the manner described above, and that the other conditions set forth in 19 CFR 134.34 are met, the port director may authorize an exception under 19 CFR 134.32(d), in which case marking of the imported goods will not be required.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.
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 Robert DeSoucey at 646-733-3008.
Robert B. Swierupski