Ms. Krista L. Olsson
V. Alexander & Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 291929
Nashville, Tennessee 37229-1929
RE: The tariff classification of a pencil with a topper from Taiwan.
Dear Ms. Olsson:
In your letter dated February 10, 2000, on behalf of Kid Galaxy, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
A picture was provided with your letter. The cased pencil is manufactured in Taiwan. The pencil topper, which is made of rubber, is manufactured in China. The topper resembles a human being wearing a backpack. The pencils are shipped to China where the toppers are attached and packaged for export to the United States. The pencil and topper will be classified together. The essential character is imparted by the pencil.
The applicable subheading for the pencil with the topper will be 9609.10.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for pencils (other than those pencils of heading 9608), crayons, pencil leads, pastels, drawing charcoals, writing or drawing chalks and tailors’ chalks…pencils and crayons, with leads encased in a rigid sheath. The rate of duty will be 14 cents per gross plus 4.3 percent ad valorem.
You have also inquired about the country of origin marking regulations and the
applicability of anti-dumping duties. 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 pencils do not undergo a substantial transformation in China, and the country of origin of the pencils remains Taiwan. A marked sample was not provided with your letter. The pencils must be marked with the country of origin (e.g., "Made in Taiwan"), legibly and in a conspicuous place. The marking must be sufficiently permanent to reach the ultimate purchaser of the pencils.
Since the country of origin of the pencils is Taiwan, the pencils are not subject to the anti-dumping duties assessed against pencils made in China. Should you decide to have the pencils made in China, please be aware that they may be subject to anti-dumping duties. In that circumstance, we would recommend that before importation you contact the International Trade Commission at:
Office of Antidumping Investigations
International Trade Administration
U.S Department of Commerce
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20230
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 Joan Mazzola at 212-637-7034.
Robert B. Swierupski