MAR:RR:NC:MM:105 C83989

Mr. Robert Ulrich
Rimples, Ltd.
P.O. Box 61
Riverdale, NY 10471-0061

RE: The Marking of an Adjustable Textile Strap from Mexico and an American Horse Mouth Measurer Dear Mr. Ulrich:

In your letter, dated January 26, 1998, you requested a marking ruling. The horse mouth measurer consists of a blue strap, a textile bag, and a plastic device which is about 10 inches long, which has a scale divided into centimeters and millimeters along most of its length, and which has two, sliding, 3 inch in diameter plastic rings.

The blue strap is about 50 inches long and .5 inch wide. On one side of the webbing-like base material, there are, near the ends, two sections of one inch long, "male", velcro-like material and, more towards the middle, two sections of 17 inch long, fuzzy, velcro-like material. The result is that the strap can form loops of about 1 to about 10 inches long by pressing together the male and the fuzzy velcro-like portions.

You stated in your telephone conversation on February 24, 1998 with J. Konzet of this office that the strap is used to keep the device tightly in place to measure the width of a horse`s mouth while a person takes the measurement. You also stated that all the textile materials assembled in Mexico to produce the straps are of USA origin. In your letter, you stated that all other components of the horse mouth measurer will be made in the USA and their final assembly and sale will take place in the USA. Only the blue textile straps will be imported into the USA.

As imported into the USA, the textile strap is classifiable in HTS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule) heading 5911, as textile products and articles for technical uses; or in HTS 6307, as other made up textile articles; or in HTS sub-heading 9017.90, as parts of measuring devices.

If it were imported into the USA, the finished horse mouth measurer would be classified in HTS sub-heading 9017.30 or 9017.80, as an instrument for measuring length, held in the hand. The strap is clearly entitled to NAFTA preference since it will have no non-NAFTA material or labor. You state all of its materials will be of USA origin. Therefore, per Customs Regulation (CR) 102.19, its country of origin will be Mexico, independent of the origin rules in either CR 102.20 or 102.21 (textiles). Since the strap is a good of a NAFTA country, Mexico, the decision of whether it needs to be marked "Mexico" so that marking will be seen by the purchaser of the finished product, the horse mouth measurer, will depend, per CR 134.35-b and CR 134.1-d-2, on whether the tariff shift specified in CR 102.20 takes place. The test for finished goods classifiable in HTS 9017.10-9017.80 is that the imported component that is used in the finished good must have been, itself, classified in another subheading outside that group. Since all three of its possible classifications are outside the group 9017.10-9017.80, the textile straps do not need to be marked when imported into the USA nor at any other time; neither is there any requirement that you notify your customers concerning the origin of the straps in any other way. Per CR 134.22-a, only the outermost cartons of the importations of the straps will have to be marked "Made in Mexico". Per your letter, you do not propose to have any individual marking at all on the straps when imported, which is fully acceptable under 19 USC 1304, the marking statute.

Your question concerning whether certain marking tags, referring to the USA and-or Mexico, can be added in the USA to the finished horse mouth measurers is not one that U.S. Customs has any authority to answer. Since we have determined that neither the import nor the finished good it will be used in requires marking with a country of origin and that there is no misleading marking, in this case no marking at all, on the import as it enters the USA, any other issues are solely under the Division of Enforcement of the Federal Trade Commission. We do expect that this letter will provide some clarification for your further discussions and correspondence with the FTC.

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 James Sheridan at 212-466-5669.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity
Specialist Division