Mr. Bill Smith
MOL Logistics USA
4341 International Pkwy. #106
Atlanta, GA 30354
RE: The country of origin and marking of ground polyethersulphone resins from Japan.
Dear Mr. Smith:
In your letter dated June 14, 2012, on behalf of Sumika Electronic Materials Inc., you requested a country of origin and marking ruling.
The product is described as ground PES5003P Polyethersulphone resins (heading 3911.90.25), having an average particle size of approximately 50 microns. Un-ground polyethersulphone resins (heading 3911.90.25), having an average particle size of approximately 620 microns, are shipped from Japan to Great Britain for grinding. The grinding results in an average particle size of approximately 50 microns. The product’s chemical properties are not changed by the grinding process. The product’s particle size and the uniform distribution of the particle size are merely modified to make it easier to dissolve the material in subsequent chemical processing activities. The product is then exported to the United States.
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, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Regulations (19 C.F.R. §134) implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. §1304.Part 134.1(b) of the regulations (19 C.F.R. § 134.1(b)), defines "country of origin" as:[T]he 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" within the meaning of this Part…
A substantial transformation occurs when an article emerges from a process with a new name, character or use different from that possessed by the article prior to processing. United States v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 CCPA 267, C.A.D. 98 (1940); National Hand Tool Corp. v. United States, 16 CIT 308 (1992), aff’d, 989 F. 2d 1201 (Fed. Cir. 1993). However, if the manufacturing or combining process is merely a minor one that leaves the identity of the article intact, a substantial transformation has not occurred. Uniroyal, Inc. v. United States, 3 CIT 220, 542 F. Supp. 1026, 1029 (1982), aff’d, 702 F.2d 1022 (Fed. Cir. 1983).In this case, the simple grinding of Japanese polyethersulphone resins does not result in a new and different article. The resins do not emerge from the grinding with a new name, character or use different from that possessed by the resins prior to grinding. The ground polyethersulphone resins remain polyethersulphone resins, in primary forms, but with particles of a different size. Neither the chemical composition nor the properties of the polyethersulphone resins have changed. Therefore, the polyethersulphone resins are not substantially transformed by grinding in Great Britain. The ground polyethersulphone resins remain a product of Japan for country of origin and marking purposes.
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 Frank Cantone at (646) 733-3038.
Thomas J. Russo
National Commodity Specialist Division