Mr. Paul Vroman
AEI Customs Brokerage Services
2555 20th Street
Port Huron, Michigan 48060
RE: The tariff classification of pencils with toppers from Taiwan and China.
Dear Mr. Vroman:
In your letter dated August 21, 2000, on behalf of Toy Island USA, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.
Four samples and additional pictures covering fifteen products were provided with your letter. Articles #66100, #66102, #56540, #45100, #37640, #55510, #66240, #45240, #37700, #66600, #24360, #56514 and #55570 all consist of pencils fitted with toppers and packaged in a blister pack. The pencils are made in Taiwan and shipped to China where the toppers are attached and the product is packaged. The pencils and toppers are classified together. The essential character is imparted by the pencils.
The applicable subheading for the pencils and attached toppers 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 requested a ruling on the Pokemon stationery set (Article #66132) and the Pokemon pencil w/toppers set (Article #66133). Before we can issue a ruling for these sets we require a sample of each set, as well as a cost breakdown showing the cost of each item in the set.
You have also requested a ruling on the country of origin marking. The pencils are marked “Made in Taiwan,” and the toppers are marked “China.” In addition, the blister pack is marked to indicate that the pencils are made in Taiwan and the toppers in China.
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.
As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.
The marking on the toppers is blind marking and not conspicuous. In addition, the marking cannot be seen unless the topper is removed from the blister pack. This is unlikely to take place before the purchase of the pencils. Therefore, the marking on the topper, in and of itself, is not sufficient to meet the country of origin marking requirements. However, the additional marking on the package does satisfy the country of origin marking requirements.
Importations of these products might be subject to the provisions of Section 133 of the Customs Regulations if they copy or simulate a trademark, tradename or copyright registered with the United States Customs Service.
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