Orlando Murrieta
OEM Brokerage & Trade Consulting Services, LLC
165 W Camino Fuste Sahuarita, AZ 85629

RE: The tariff classification and eligibility of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) of an irrigation drip line system from Mexico

Dear Mr. Murrieta:

In your letter dated February 28, 2024, you requested a binding ruling on the tariff classification and eligibility of an irrigation drip system under the USMCA on behalf of your client, Kapper Tech.

The merchandise under review is referred to as an Irrigator Mantle Technology (IMT). It consists of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) drip lines with equidistant perforations to allow for irrigation. The drip lines do not incorporate any fittings. The drip lines are fused to LDPE film via perforated LDPE sleeves. This drip system will be used in the mining industry. The system will be spread over leaching piles. The dripper lines will allow for the leaching agent to drip at equal intervals along the pile while the film will create a greenhouse effect resulting in less water consumption and greater recovery of copper.

Per your submission, the IMT will be manufactured from perforated low-density polyethylene (LDPE) drip lines of United States Origin and LDPE film and sleeves of Chilean origin. The components will be shipped to Mexico where they will be assembled into the IMT through the following assembly operations: the LDPE sleeves will be perforated in a punching machine to match the spacing of the perforations on the LDPE drip lines. The drip lines are loaded into the feeding machines and are fed into the LDPE sleeves. The LDPE film is fed into the thermo-fusion machine. The LDPE sleeves containing drip lines will be fused to the LDPE film at regular intervals via thermo-fusion (hot air). The finished IMT will be directly exported to the United States.


The IMT is a composite good consisting of LDPE drip lines, LDPE film and LDPE sleeves. 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. Goods that are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, are classifiable in accordance with GRI 3. GRI 3(a) states that the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to the goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the good. As such, they are regarded as equally specific and classification of the composite good is to be determined by GRI 3 (b) or GRI 3(c). GRI 3(b) states in part that composite goods, which cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a), are to be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. In this case, we find the essential character of the IMT to be imparted by the LDPE drip lines.

The applicable subheading for the Irrigator Mantle Technology (IMT), irrigation drip system will be 3917.32.0020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for tubes, pipes and hoses and fittings therefor, of plastics: other tubes, pipes and hoses: other, not reinforced or otherwise combined with other materials, without fittings: of polyethylene. The general rate of duty will be 3.1 percent ad valorem.

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 at


The USMCA was signed by the Governments of the United States, Mexico, and Canada on November 30, 2018. The USMCA was approved by the U.S. Congress with the enactment on January 29, 2020, of the USMCA Implementation Act, Pub. L. 116-113, 134 Stat. 11, 14 (19 U.S.C. 4511(a)). General Note ("GN") 11 of the HTSUS implements the USMCA. GN 11(b) sets forth the criteria for determining whether a good is an originating good for purposes of the USMCA. GN 11(b) states:

For the purposes of this note, a good imported into the customs territory of the United States from the territory of a USMCA country, as defined in subdivision (l) of this note, is eligible for the preferential tariff treatment provided for in the applicable subheading and quantitative limitations set forth in the tariff schedule as a "good originating in the territory of a USMCA country" only if-

(i) the good is a good wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of one or more USMCA countries;

(ii) the good is a good produced entirely in the territory of one or more USMCA countries, exclusively from originating materials;

(iii) the good is a good produced entirely in the territory of one or more USMCA countries using non-originating materials, if the good satisfies all applicable requirements set forth in this note (including the provisions of subdivision (o));

Since the Irrigator Mantle Technology (IMT) contains both originating and non-originating ingredients, it is not considered a good wholly obtained or produced entirely in a USMCA country under GN 11(b)(i), nor are the products produced exclusively from originating materials per GN 11(b)(ii). Thus, we must determine whether the product qualifies under GN 11(b)(iii). As previously noted, the IMT is classified under subheading 3917.32.0020, HTSUS. The applicable rule of origin for goods classified under subheading 3917.32.0020, HTSUS, is in GN 11(o)/39.2, HTSUS, which provides, in relevant part:

Chapter 39 2. A change to headings 3916 through 3926 from any other heading, including another heading within that group.

The applicable heading for the LDPE film is 3920, HTSUS, and the applicable heading for the LDPE sleeves is 3926, HTSUS. With regard to the IMT, we find that the components undergo the applicable tariff shift in Mexico. Therefore, based on the facts provided, the goods described above qualify for USMCA preferential tariff treatment, because they will meet the requirements of HTSUS General Note 11(b)(iii). The goods will therefore be entitled to a free rate of duty under the USMCA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

Country of Origin

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 or USMCA country, the marking rules set forth in part 102 of this chapter (hereinafter referred to as the part 102 Rules) will determine the country of origin."

Pursuant to section 102.0, interim regulations, related to the marking rules, tariff-rate quotas, and other USMCA provisions, published in the Federal Register on July 6, 2021 (86 FR 35566), the rules set forth in 102.1 through 102.18 and 102.20 determine the country of origin for marking purposes with respect to goods imported from Canada and Mexico. Section 102.11 provides a required hierarchy for determining the country of origin of a good for marking purposes, with the exception of textile goods which are subject to the provisions of 19 C.F.R. 102.21. See 19 C.F.R. 102.11.

Applied in sequential order, 19 CFR Part 102.11(a) provides that the country of origin of a good is the country in which:

(1) The good is wholly obtained or produced.

(2) The good is produced exclusively from domestic materials; or

(3) Each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in Part 102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section, and all other applicable requirements of these rules are satisfied.

19 CFR Part 102.20 (g) provides the applicable tariff shift rule for 3916.10-3918.90.

A change to subheading 3916.10 through 3918.90 from any other subheading, including another subheading within that group.

The foreign material undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification in Mexico. Therefore, the country of origin for marking purposes for the Irrigator Mantle Technology (IMT) will be Mexico.

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. Additionally, we note that the material facts described in the foregoing ruling may be subject to periodic verification by CBP.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs and Border Protection 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, please contact National Import Specialist Christina Allen at [email protected].


Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division