Bruce Thelen
Dickinson Wright PLLC
500 Woodward Avenue, Suite 4000
Detroit, Michigan 48826

RE: The country of origin of an electric air pump for the purposes of 301 Trade Remedies

Dear Mr. Thelen:

In your letter dated July 13, 2022, you requested a country of origin ruling on behalf of your client, Bestway Inflatables and Material Corporation. Descriptive information was provided with your request.

The Sidewinder pump, model number 621040E, is a hand-held pump that inflates and deflates inflatable products. The pump is an assembly that mainly consists of a DC motor, a centrifugal impeller, top and lower covers, and a housing enclosure. The pump is packaged with three valve adapters ready for retail sale.

With regard to country of origin for the purposes of 301 Trade Remedies, each electric pump is assembled in Vietnam from components that are of Vietnamese and Chinese origin. The final assembly occurs in Vietnam.

Prior to the final assembly of the pump, various components of the pump are manufactured in Vietnam. The top cover, the lower cover and the housing enclosure are manufactured with Chinese origin thermoplastic resin pellets being mixed, and then formed in a molding machine.

The motor is assembled in Vietnam and begins by inserting a bushing into a barrel case from Vietnam. Vietnamese magnetic tiles, and a spring are installed, positioned, and glued. The process continues with a Vietnamese shaft being inserted into a rotor lamination from Vietnam. Insulation plates are fitted over the bottom and top of the shaft and positioned with the slots at the bottom and top of the lamination. Rotor slot paper from Vietnam is then inserted into the slots of the rotor's laminations. Glue is then applied. Afterwards, a Vietnamese commutator is fixed over the shaft, Vietnamese wire is wound in place and slot wedges are inserted. The required necessary wiring connections are completed. The completed rotor subassembly is then coated and balanced.

The final assembly of the motor occurs in Vietnam and begins with various washers being fitted over the top and bottom of the rotor shaft. The rotor subassembly is then inserted in the iron barrel case. The plastic cover is then produced and cleaned. The plastic cover with a rectifier bridge, torsion spring and joint is placed on top of the motor subassembly and screwed in place. The carbon brush is then inserted into its slot.

The final assembly of the pump occurs in Vietnam. The lower cover and motor are locked to each other using screws. The Vietnamese manufactured impeller and rotor shaft are connected using a one-way snap connection. The terminal point of the Chinese power cord is wrapped with a Chinese heat shrink tube. The top and lower covers are attached to each other and fastened to each other using screws. Various inspections, and tests are completed throughout the assembly processes. Each completed air pump is inspected, tested and packaged with valve adapters.

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."

The test for determining whether a substantial transformation will occur is whether an article emerges from a process with a new name, character, and 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).

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, and assembly operations that are minimal will generally not result in a substantial transformation.

For the Sidewinder pump, model number 621040E, components from Vietnam and China are joined or assembled to each other in Vietnam during the final assembly of the pump. As described above, we believe that the assembly processes in Vietnam do not appear to be complex and do not result in a substantial transformation of the components, i.e., connected using a one-way snap connection. Because joining an impeller to the motor using a snap connection is rather simple, we believe instead that the origin of the electric air pump, for the purposes of Section 301 Trade Remedies, is determined by its essence, the motor, which is produced in Vietnam.

It is our view that the origin of the electric motor is Vietnam. The rotor and stator, which are the dominant components of a finished electric motor, are fabricated from raw materials in Vietnam. Specifically, the subassemblies that make up the stator (the bushing, magnetic tiles, an iron barrel case and a spring) are produced from Chinese origin metal powder and metal strips and sheets that are molded, stamped, compressed, cut, rolled, magnetized, drawn, and stretched in Vietnam. The subassemblies that make up the rotor (the shaft, insulation plates, a rotor lamination, a commutator, enameled copper wire, rotor slot paper, and slot wedge) are produced from Chinese origin materials such as metal rods, metal sheets and strips, resin pellets, molding compound, PET sheets and wood fiber, which are cut, refined, slotted, knurled, laminated, stamped, compressed, molded, reamed, polished, drawn and stretched in Vietnam. Lastly, the finished motor is assembled in Vietnam by gluing and soldering the stator and rotor to the other components (washers, plastic cover, rectifier bridge, carbon brush) which results in a substantial transformation of the individual components to produce an electric motor of Vietnamese origin.

Therefore, as the country of origin of the motor is Vietnam, the country of origin of the Sidewinder pump, model number 621040E, is Vietnam for the purposes of 301 Trade Remedies.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise description as identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in the ruling letter, whether directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect. In the event that the facts are modified in any way, or if the goods do not conform to these facts at time of importation, you should bring this to the attention of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and submit a request for a new ruling in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2. You should also be aware that the material facts described in the foregoing ruling may be subject to periodic verification by CBP.

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 [email protected]


Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division