CLA-2-90:OT:RR:NC:N1:105

Gennady Spirin
Averia Electronics Inc.
142 W 57th Street
New York, NY 10019

RE: The tariff classification and marking determination of a Smart Dog Collar from China

Dear Mr. Spirin:

In your letter dated April 12, 2022, you requested a tariff classification and marking ruling.

The first item under consideration is described as a Smart Dog Collar, also known as the Averia Collar, imported under model number AC01. When imported as a set, the smart dog collar has a main processing unit (hub), a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, a silicone protective casing, a polyester strap that attaches to the silicone casing and attaches the smart collar unit around a dog's neck, a three-foot USB charging cable, a user manual, and a branded PET (polyethylene terephthalate) sticker. The Averia Collar is an electronic device with a set of modules and sensors that track the location of a dog by utilizing a satellite navigation receiver and an accelerometer. The device also provides activity information such as the number of steps taken and whether the animal is walking or running. The information is relayed to the Averia app or website where software can calculate the distance the pet has covered and their current location. The Smart Dog collar also allows a pet-owner to define a Safe Zone for their pet through the Averia mobile app. If the dog steps out of the Safe Zone, the owner will receive a notification on their smartphone. The Smart Dog collar can utilize its Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) short-range radio module or the built-in Wi-Fi.

The second item under consideration is a replacement silicone protective casing when imported separately from the set. The casing is designed to fit only with the main processing hub and allows for the hub to be attached to the collar. The case has a distinct shape and size which allows the hub to be protected from environmental elements as well as secures the hub from falling off the collar.

General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings, any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI’s taken in order. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs 2 through 6 are then applied in order. Goods that are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, are classifiable in accordance with GRI 3, HTSUS. GRI 3(a) states in part that when two or more headings each refer to a part of the item in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific, even if one heading gives a more precise description of the goods. The Smart Dog Collar when imported together with the additional components consists of at least two different articles that are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings. It consists of articles put up together to carry out a specific activity (i.e., provide tracking and activity data). Finally, the articles are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. Therefore, the item in question is within the term “goods put up in sets for retail sale.” GRI 3(b) states in part that goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a), are to be classified as if they consisted of the component that gives them their essential character. Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) explains that “[t]he factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight, or value, or by the role of the constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.” We find the essential character of the Smart Dog Collar is imparted by the main processing unit.

Therefore, the applicable subheading for the Smart Dog Collar when imported as a set will be 9031.80.8085, HTSUS, which provides for “Measuring or checking instruments, appliances and machines, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; profile projectors; parts and accessories thereof: Other instruments, appliances and machines: Other: Other.” The general rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the case when imported separately will be 9031.90.9195, HTSUS, which provides for “Measuring or checking instruments, appliances and machines, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; profile projectors; parts and accessories thereof: Parts and accessories: Other: Other: Other.” The general rate of duty will be free.

Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheadings 9031.80.8085 and 9031.90.9195, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., 9903.88.01, in addition to subheadings 9031.80.8085 and 9031.90.9195, HTSUS, listed above. The HTSUS is subject to periodic amendment, so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Note cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading. For background information regarding the trade remedy initiated pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, including information on exclusions and their effective dates, you may refer to the relevant parts of the USTR and CBP websites, which are available at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/tariff-actions and https://www.cbp.gov/trade/remedies/301-certain-products-china respectively.

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 the World Wide Web at https://hts.usitc.gov/current.

In your letter, you further request a country of origin marking ruling. You do not indicate any information regarding the manufacture of the Smart Dog Collar when imported as a set nor the case when imported separately.

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.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country-of-origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d) defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the United States who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the Smart Dog Collar when imported as a set and the case when imported separately is the consumer who purchases the product directly from your website or through any future retail partner.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

In your letter, you provided a picture of the hub, laser engraved, with the country of origin marked “Assembled in PRC.” In your letter, and confirmed in a telephone conversation on May 3, 2022, you stated that the marking on the final product will read “Made in China.” In the same telephone conversation, you stated that the silicone case will not be marked with the country of origin, however, the retail box will be marked. You further provided pictures of the retail boxes for the hub and the case (when imported separately) which also show “Made in PRC.” According to your letter, you state that the boxes will be marked “Made in China” upon importation into the United States. Therefore, we find the marking of the hub and boxes to be sufficiently marked with the country of origin as long as the term “Made in China” replaces “Assembled in PRC” and “Made in PRC” on the final products, as stated in your letter.

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 Jason Christie at [email protected]

Sincerely,

Steven A. Mack
Director
National Commodity Specialist Division