CLA-2-83:OT:RR:NC:N1:121

Brooke Bonell
LiFung
18/F, 1359 Broadway
New York, NY 10018

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin of metal lids

Dear Ms. Bonell:

In your letter dated August 2, 2019 you requested a tariff classification and country of origin ruling.

The merchandise under consideration is described as an iron sheet stamped lid with a silicone gasket glued on the underside of the lid. It is designed to cap a glass candle vessel. The lid is 0.5 millimeters thick and approximately 10.5 millimeters in diameter. The silicone gasket is glued around the circumference of the inside of the lid to form a seal when the lid is placed on top of a candle jar.

According to your request, the lid is produced with iron sheet that is stamped into the lid shape and colored in China. The Chinese stamped lid is shipped to Vietnam where a silicone gasket of Vietnamese origin is glued onto the underside. The lid is packaged in Vietnam with packaging materials of Vietnamese origin.

The applicable subheading for the iron sheet stamped lid with a silicone gasket will be 8309.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Stoppers, caps and lids (including crown corks, screw caps and pouring stoppers), capsules for bottles, threaded bungs, bung covers, seals and other packing accessories and parts thereof, of base metal; Other. The rate of duty will be 2.6 percent ad valorem.

With regard to your request for the appropriate country of origin of the metal lid, 19 C.F.R. § 134.1(b) provides in pertinent part as follows: Country of origin means the 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; As stated in HQ 735009 dated July 30, 1993, “The country of origin is the country where the article last underwent a “substantial transformation”, that is, processing which results in a change in the article's name, character, or use”. In addition, the court has held that “A substantial transformation occurs when an article emerges from a manufacturing process with a name, character, and use that differs from the original material subjected to the processing.” 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. In order to determine whether a substantial transformation occurs when components of various origins are assembled into completed products, all factors such as the components used to create the product and manufacturing processes that these components undergo are considered in order to determine whether a product with a new name, character and use has been produced. No one factor is decisive. Assembly operations that are minimal will generally not result in a substantial transformation. In this instance, it is this office’s opinion that the stamping of the lid would provide the essence of the metal lid. The lid is not substantially changed by either the addition of the Vietnamese silicone gasket or the minor packaging operations performed in Vietnam. The Chinese stamped lid provides the essential operational element for the metal lid to function as a lid. In view of these facts, the country of origin is China.

Effective July 6, 2018, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) imposed an additional tariff on certain products of China classified in the subheadings enumerated in Section XXII, Chapter 99, Subchapter III U.S. Note 20(b), HTSUS. The USTR imposed additional tariffs, effective August 23, 2018, on products classified under the subheadings enumerated in Section XXII, Chapter 99, Subchapter III U.S. Note 20(d), HTSUS. Subsequently, the USTR imposed further tariffs, effective September 24, 2018, on products classified under the subheadings enumerated in Section XXII, Chapter 99, Subchapter III U.S. Note 20(f) and U.S. Note 20(g), HTSUS. For additional information, please see the relevant Federal Register notices dated June 20, 2018 (83 F.R. 28710), August 16, 2018 (83 F.R. 40823), and September 21, 2018 (83 F.R. 47974). See also “Notice of Action and Request for Public Comment Concerning Proposed Determination of Action Pursuant to Section 301: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation” (June 20, 2018, 83 F.R. 28710). Products of China that are provided for in subheading 9903.88.01, 9903.88.02, 9903.88.03, or 9903.88.04 and classified in one of the subheadings enumerated in U.S. Note 20(b), U.S. Note 20(d), U.S. Note 20(f) or U.S. Note 20(g) to subchapter III shall continue to be subject to antidumping, countervailing, or other duties, fees and charges that apply to such products, as well as to those imposed by the aforementioned Chapter 99 subheadings.

Products of China classified under subheading 8309.90.0000, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to the additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., 9903.88.03, in addition to subheading 8309.90.0000, HTSUS, listed above.

The tariff is subject to periodic amendment so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Notice cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading.

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 https://hts.usitc.gov/current.

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 Jennifer Jameson at [email protected]

Sincerely,

Steven A. Mack
Director
National Commodity Specialist Division