D and S Industries (Philippines) Corporation
Unit 1-5 Orient Goldcrest
Suntrust Ecotown, Bldg. 2
RE: The country of origin of a power adapter
Dear Ms. Zhou:
In your letter dated July 13, 2020 you requested a country of origin ruling.
The merchandise under consideration is identified as the 1A Car Charger, Model Number DC-204C (Power Adapter), which is described as an 5 V, 1 A rectifier having one female USB socket connector on one side and 12 V vehicle accessory electrical plug on the other. The subject power adapter is intended to be used in a vehicle for charging personal electronics and is comprised of a plastic molded housing containing a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), wires, and plug terminals. You state the power adapter is manufactured in the Philippines from components sourced from China and the Philippines.
Based on the information supplied, the PCBA is assembled in the Philippines from a bare printed circuit board, integrated circuits, resistors, and capacitors by a surface mount and through hole soldering processes to produce the PCBA. The PCBA, which functions to convert the input voltage and control the electrical charging of the attached personal electronic device, is then assembled into the plastic housing after the wires are soldered onto the plug terminals. The power adapter is inspected and tested prior to ultrasonically welding the enclosure and final packaging.
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.
The "country of origin" is defined in 19 CFR 134.1(b) as "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; however, for a good of a NAFTA country, the NAFTA Marking Rules will determine the country of origin."
The test for determining whether a substantial transformation will occur is whether an article emerges from a process with a new name, character or use, different from that possessed by the article prior to processing. See Texas Instruments Inc. v. United States, 69 C.C.P.A. 151 (1982). This determination is based on the totality of the evidence. See National Hand Tool Corp. v. United States, 16 C.I.T. 308 (1992), aff'd, 989 F.2d 1201 (Fed. Cir. 1993).
Regarding the country of origin of the Power Adapter, in our view the assembly of the PCBA in the Philippines by soldering the individual components onto the bare board results in a substantial transformation of the components to produce a PCBA of Philippine origin. Furthermore, it is the opinion of this office that the PCBA provides the essence of the electrical charging device because it is the article within the assembly that converts the electricity and supplies it to the attached personal electronics via the USB socket. As such, we find that the components that make up the Power Adapter are transformed in the Philippines into a new and different article of commerce with a name, character, and use distinct from the article exported. Thus, the 1A Car Charger, Model Number DC-204C, is considered a product of the Philippines for origin and marking purposes at time of importation into the United States.
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 Karl Moosbrugger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division