MAR-2 OT:RR:NC:N1:102

Ms. Erika Quinones
Trade Compliance Supervisor
Greatbatch Medical SA
Rue De La Gare 15
Bienne, Bern CH-2502
Switzerland

RE: THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN MARKING OF BATTERY CELLS; ARTICLE 509

Dear Ms. Quinones:

This is in response to your letter requesting a ruling on whether “Made in the USA, Assembled in Mexico” or “Made in China, Assembled in Mexico” is an acceptable country of origin marking for battery packs, part numbers 102-598-825 and 110-004800-803. Part number 102-598-825 consists of a battery pack that is assembled in Mexico from various components from the United States and Canada, to include non-rechargeable battery cells from the United States. Part number 110-004800-803 consists of a battery pack that is assembled in Mexico from various components from the United States and rechargeable battery cells manufactured in China. One cell cannot produce an electrical charge of sequence.

Marked samples were not submitted with your letter, but illustrations of the markings were provided.

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.

The country of origin marking requirements for a “good of a NAFTA country” are determined in accordance with Annex 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), as implemented by section 207 of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat 2057) (December 8, 1993) and the appropriate Customs Regulations. The Marking Rules used for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country are contained in Part 102, Customs Regulations. The marking requirements of these goods are set forth in Part 134, Customs Regulations.

Section 102.11 of the regulations, sets forth the required hierarchy for determining the country of origin for marking purposes. Section 102.11 (a) (3) states each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff section set out in section 102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirement of that section, and all other applicable requirements of these rules are satisfied.

In regards to the rechargeable battery packs, the required change in tariff classification or tariff shift in section 102.20(o) for goods classified in HTSUS subheading 8507.50.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Electric storage batteries, including separators whether or not rectangular (including square); Nickel-metal hydride batteries is as follows:

A change to subheading 8507.10 through 8507.80 from any other subheading, including another subheading within that group, except for a change to subheading 8507.80 from subheading 8507.50 or 8507.60.

Applying the NAFTA Marking Rules set forth in Part 102.20(o) of the regulations, we note that the applicable tariff provision of the battery cells included in the rechargeable battery pack, part number 110-004800-803 will be 8507.90.8000, HTSUS, which provides parts of electric storage batteries, including separators whether or not rectangular (including square). We also note that the rechargeable battery cells from China used in the assembly process of the battery pack falls in another subheading which is a requirement of Section 120.20(o). As such, we find that the imported rechargeable battery pack, part number 110-004800-803, is a good of Mexico for marking purposes, since they satisfy the current requirements of Section 120.20(o) of the regulations.    With regards to part number 102-598-825, which consists of U.S. and Canadian components assembled in Mexico, the required change in tariff classification is as follows:

A change to subheading 8506.50 through 8506.80 from any other subheading outside that group; or A change to a primary cell or battery of an external volume not exceeding 300 cm3 of subheading 8506.50 through 8506.80 from any other good of subheading 8506.50 through 8506.80 or a change to a primary cell of battery of an external volume exceeding 300cm3 of subheading 8506.50 through 8506.80 from any other good of subheading 8506.50 through 8506.80.

In this instance, the battery packs do not make the required change in classification, as the battery cells contained in the battery packs are classified in the same subheading, i.e., subheading 8505.50. Therefore, the marking country of origin of battery pack, part number 102-598-825, is the United States.

Section 134.43 (e), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.43 (e)), requires that where an article is produced as a result of an assembly operation and the country of origin of such article is determined under this chapter to be the country in which the article was finally assembled, such article may be marked, as appropriate, in a manner such as the following: (1) Assembled in (country of final assembly): (2) Assembled in (country of final assembly) from components of (name of country or countries of origin of all components); or (3) Made in, or product of, (country of final assembly). Furthermore, as a result of 19 CFR 134.43 (e), Customs has determined that the terms "Made in," "Product of," and "Assembled in" are words of similar meaning. Therefore, it is not acceptable to use "Made in," "Product of," or words of similar meaning, along with the words "Assembled in" in a single country of origin statement on articles of foreign origin imported into the United States.   Thus, the proposed marking of the battery packs as described above is not acceptable, as per 19 CFR 134.43 (e).

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 Sandra Martinez at Sandra.martinez@cbp.dhs.gov.

Sincerely,

Deborah C. Marinucci
Acting Director
National Commodity Specialist Division