Mr. Mark Gottlieb
DesignTech International, Inc.
7955 Cameron Brown Court
Springfield, Virginia 20166
RE: The tariff classification of a Deer Alert from Taiwan
Dear Mr. Gottlieb:
In your letter dated October 12, 2001 you requested a tariff classification and country of origin ruling.
You submitted a sample of an electronic Deer Alert. This item is designed to be attached to a motor vehicle battery and to emit both audible and ultrasonic sound to alert a wide range of animals of the approaching motor vehicle. You state that it can warn animals up to 1,500 feet away. You also state that the components are imported from Taiwan and consist of the abs plastic case with piezo transducer. In the factory this is combined with U.S. parts which is assembled into a fully stuffed printed circuit assembly, along with a wire harness and a switch on one model. The completed article is then clamshell packed.
The applicable subheading for the Deer Alert will be 8512.30.0040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Electrical lighting or signaling equipment (excluding articles of heading 8539), windshield wipers, defrosters and demisters, of a kind used for cycles or motor vehicles, parts thereof: Sound signaling equipment…Other. The rate of duty will be 2.5% ad valorem. That rate of duty will remain unchanged in 2002.
You also requested a ruling on whether the plastic case and the packaging can be exempted from Country of Origin markings per Section 134.32G of the Customs Regulations. A marked sample container was submitted with your letter for review.
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.
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 Deer Alert is the consumer who purchases the product at retail.
An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. However, since the Deer Alerts are not imported in their marked retail container, whether the subject articles are excepted from individual marking under 19 CFR 134.32(d) is for the port director to decide. In this regard section 134.34, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.34), provides that an exception may be authorized in the discretion of the port director under 19 CFR 134.32(d) for imported articles which are to be repacked after release from Customs custody under the following conditions: (1) The containers in which the articles are repacked will indicate the origin of the articles to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S.; (2) The importer arranges for supervision of the marking of the containers by Customs officers at the importer's expense or secures such verification, as may be necessary, by certification and the submission of a sample or otherwise, of the marking prior to the liquidation of the entry.
In this case, assuming that the port director is satisfied that the imported Deer Alert will be repacked in the manner described above, and that the other conditions set forth in 19 CFR 134.34 are met, the port director may authorize an exception under 19 CFR 134.32(d), in which case marking of the imported Deer Alert will not be required
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 Robert DeSoucey at 646-733-3008.
Robert B. Swierupski