Mr. Jeff Yuh
Notions in Paradise, Ltd.
906 Industrial Road
Honolulu, HI 96816
RE: THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN MARKING AND CLASSIFICATION OF BUTTONS FROM CHINA
Dear Mr. Yuh:
This is in response to your letter dated January 11, 2013, requesting a marking and classification ruling. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.
The imported items are buttons made from coconut shells. Each button will be marked with one of your customer’s initials on its outer edge, along with the word “Hawaii”. The sample you submitted consists of four similarly marked buttons packaged in a clear plastic bag. An adhesive sticker is affixed to the bag and lists the item number, size and quantity. The phrase “MADE IN CHINA” is also printed on the sticker. You have stated that the buttons will be imported and sold to your customers in this bag and no repackaging will take place after importation.
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 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134) implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.33, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.33), excepts certain "J-list" articles from individual country of origin marking in accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(J) and only requires that the outermost container in which the article is imported to be marked with the country of origin. Among the J-list items are buttons. While a button need not be individually marked, the regulations require that for any J-list item, the outermost container in which the article normally reaches the ultimate purchaser is required to be marked to indicate the origin of its contents. For the instant shipment of buttons, the plastic bag must meet the aforementioned country of origin marking requirements.
You have also inquired as to whether the word “Hawaii”, marked on each button and visible through the plastic bag, is subject to section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46). 19 CFR 134.46 requires that when the name of any city or locality in the U.S., or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the name of the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appear on an imported article or its container, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or other words of similar meaning.
A review of the submitted sample indicates that the plastic bag meets the marking requirements of 19 CFR 134.46. Furthermore, the proposed marking of the instant shipment of buttons, as described above, satisfies the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported buttons.
Regarding your classification request, the applicable subheading for the coconut buttons will be 9606.29.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for buttons, press-fasteners, snap-fasteners and press-studs, button molds and other parts of these articles; button blanks: buttons: other: other: of pearl or shell. The rate of duty will be 0.18¢/line/gross + 2.5% ad valorem.
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 CFR Part 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 Anthony Grossi at (646) 733- 3021.
Thomas J. Russo
National Commodity Specialist Division