Alan R. Klestadt
Christina M. Leonard
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman, & Klestadt LLP
580 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1100
New York, NY 10036
RE: Country of origin determination for diamonds
Dear Mr. Klestadt and Ms. Leonard:
In your letter dated October 18, 2019, on behalf of Hasenfeld-Stein, Inc., you requested a country of origin determination ruling.
The merchandise under consideration consists of cut and polished diamonds. From the information you provided, the rough diamonds at issue are mined in Botswana and shipped to Hasenfeld-Stein, Inc., in United States (U.S.) where they are evaluated for size, shape, and brilliance. The rough diamonds are shipped to China where they are simply sawn and blocked. The rough diamonds are then shipped to India where they are cut, faceted, and polished, suitable for the use in manufacture of jewelry, but unmounted at the time of importation into the United States.
Section 134.1(b) of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)) provides that the "[c]ountry 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 Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134). Substantial transformation requires that "[t]here must be a transformation; a new and different article must emerge, ‘having distinctive name, character, or use.’" Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association v. United States, 207 U.S. 556, 28 S. Ct 204 (1908).
Your letter indicates that upon exportation from Botswana to the U.S., and from the U.S. to China, the rough diamonds are classifiable under subheading 7102.31.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for unworked or simply sawn, cleaved, or bruted diamonds. Subsequent to cutting and polishing in India, you indicate that the finished diamonds are classifiable under subheading 7102.39.00, HTSUS, which provides for “Other” diamonds. For purposes of this ruling, we are assuming that the above classifications are correct.
In the instant case, the cutting and polishing of the rough diamonds performed in India is a significant manufacturing operation which has the effect of changing the character of the outer surface of the rough diamond, resulting in a substantial transformation. Therefore, the country of origin of the cut and polished diamonds will be India.
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 Elena Pietron at [email protected]
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division