Mr. Robert Petrek
Golden Mermaid Inc.
3130 Zaharias Drive
Orlando, FL 32837
RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of
paint brushes with Chinese bristles assembled in Holland.
Dear Mr. Petrek:
In your letter dated October 5, 1998, you requested a tariff
The merchandise to be imported consists of paintbrushes which
are assembled in Holland. The brush components and their countries
of origin are as follows:
Ferrule- extruded plastic with the plastic
extrusion process taking place in
The Netherlands (Holland) or metal ferrule
produced in Italy
Wooden Handle - shaped and painted in Germany
Epoxy- product of The Netherlands (Holland)
The bristles are shipped from China to Holland where they are
sorted, weighed into the desired quantity for an individual brush
and then one end of the bristles are trimmed so that the tops of
the bristles are completely level and flat. The brushes are then
inserted into a ferrule to hold them in the desired shape and a
convex object is inserted into the ferrule, forcing the exterior
ends of the bristles to take on the desired curved shape. The
interior ends of the bristles are then shaved and the ferrule is
filled with epoxy. A wooden handle is painted to include the
manufacturer's information, a logo glued in place and a hang-up
hole is drilled. The wooden handle is then inserted into the epoxy
and allowed to set. Loose bristles are removed, the individual
brush is shrink wrapped, and sets of 6 or 12 are boxed.
The applicable subheading for the paintbrushes will be
9603.40.4040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
(HTS), which provides for paint, distemper, varnish or similar
brushes; paint pads and rollers: natural bristle brushes. The rate
of duty will be 4% ad valorem.
Natural bristle paintbrushes from China may be subject to
antidumping duties. We suggest you write to the following address
for information concerning this issue prior to importation:
Office of Antidumping Investigations
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce
14th Street and Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20230
You have also requested a country of origin ruling regarding
the paintbrushes. Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as
amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every
article of foreign origin imported into the U.S. shall be marked in
a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the
nature of the article (or 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.
Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements
the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19
U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR
134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must
be 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 U.S. 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
imported paintbrushes is the consumer who purchases the product at
Section 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)),
defines the country of origin as the country of manufacture,
production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the
U.S. 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 19
CFR Part 134.
A substantial transformation occurs when articles lose their
identity and become new articles having a new name, character or
use. The processing which will take place in Holland will not
effect a substantial transformation. The bristles are the very
essence of the finished paintbrush and do not become a new article
having a new name, character or use. Accordingly, the country of
origin is China and the paintbrushes must be marked to indicate
that China is the country of origin.
Regarding your country of origin marking, you may add
"Assembled in Holland" as long as the paintbrushes are marked to
indicate China as the country of origin.
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 Lawrence Mushinske at
Robert B. Swierupski