CLA-2-82:OT:RR:NC:N1:118

Doris Du
Meridian International Co., Ltd.
1886 Laiyin Road, Songjiang Shanghai
Shanghai, 201615
China

RE: The country of origin of mallets.

Dear Ms. Du:

In your letter dated July 14, 2022, you requested a country of origin ruling on mallets. The imported mallets are identified as 12-ounce and 24-ounce Hickory 2-Sided Soft Face Mallets, with SKU numbers 1006426445 and 1006426447. Each mallet consists of a forged, carbon steel head and an injection-molded handle. The mallets also include replaceable plastic caps that cover the striking face of the mallet heads. The plastic caps protect parts and surfaces from damage when using the mallet. You have stated that each mallet is manufactured in the same manner. Multiple pictures and a video of the manufacturing process were included with your submission.

The manufacturing process begins in Vietnam, where raw Chinese-origin carbon steel is cut, forged, and sandblasted into the final shape and size of the imported mallet head. A hole for the handle is machined into the head, as is the final striking face. The steel mallet head is then sent to China where it is heat-treated, polished, cleaned and coated with antirust oil. The mallet head is assembled with a Chinese-origin handle and replaceable Chinese-origin plastic caps. Finally, each finished mallet is affixed with a label, and packed for export to the United States.

Regarding your request for the appropriate country of origin for the finished mallets, 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;

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).

To establish whether a substantial transformation occurs when components of various origins are assembled into completed products, all factors are considered in order to determine whether a product with a new name, character and use has been produced. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the components used to create the product and manufacturing processes that these components undergo. No one factor is decisive, and assembly operations that are minimal will generally not result in a substantial transformation.

In our view, it is the forging of the mallet heads that imparts the essence of the finished mallet. In Vietnam, the mallet heads are forged and take on the shape and size of the finished mallet heads. Based on the provided description and pictures of the assembly and finishing operations performed in China, the forged mallet heads are not substantially changed so as to transform it into a new article with a different name, character, or use. Additionally, the mallet heads are not substantially transformed by the attachment of the handles or the additions of the replaceable plastic caps. It is therefore the opinion of this office that the 12-ounce and 24-ounce Hickory 2-Sided Soft Face Mallets, with SKU numbers 1006426445 and 1006426447, should have a country of origin of Vietnam.

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 Anthony E. Grossi at [email protected]

Sincerely,

Steven A. Mack
Director
National Commodity Specialist Division