Notice of Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, 54420-54423 [E8-21934]

Download as PDF 54420 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 183 / Friday, September 19, 2008 / Notices aviation aircraft operators to request permission to fly in restricted airspace. The information collected enables TSA to perform a background check on each individual on board the aircraft seeking to fly under the waiver. The affected public consists of aircraft operators of the general aviation community. Number of Respondents: 6,000. Estimated Annual Burden Hours: An estimated 4,400 hours annually. Issued in Arlington, Virginia, on September 15, 2008. John Manning, Acting Director, Business Management Office, Office of Information Technology. [FR Doc. E8–21890 Filed 9–18–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–05–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION Notice of Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Dated: September 15, 2008. Myles B. Harmon, Acting Executive Director, Office of Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: Notice of final determination. AGENCY: HQ H030645 This document provides notice that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (‘‘CBP’’) has issued a final determination concerning the country of origin of a ground fault circuit interrupter (‘‘GFCI’’). Based upon the facts presented, CBP has concluded in the final determination that China is the country of origin of the GFCI for purposes of U.S. Government procurement. SUMMARY: The final determination was issued on September 15, 2008. A copy of the final determination is attached. Any party-at-interest, as defined in 19 CFR 177.22(d), may seek judicial review of this final determination within October 20, 2008. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gerry O’Brien, Valuation and Special Programs Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade (202–572–8792). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is hereby given that on September 15, 2008, pursuant to subpart B of part 177, Customs Regulations (19 CFR part 177, subpart B), CBP issued a final determination concerning the country of origin of GFCI’s which may be offered to the United States Government under an undesignated government procurement contract. This final jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES DATES: VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:25 Sep 18, 2008 Jkt 214001 determination, in HQ H030645, was issued at the request of Pass & Seymour, Inc. under procedures set forth at 19 CFR part 177, subpart B, which implements Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2511–18). In the final determination, CBP has concluded that, based upon the facts presented, certain GFCI’s, assembled in Mexico from parts made in China, are not substantially transformed in Mexico, such that China is the country of origin of the finished article for purposes of U.S. Government procurement. Section 177.29, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.29), provides that notice of final determinations shall be published in the Federal Register within 60 days of the date the final determination is issued. Section 177.30, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 177.30), provides that any party-at-interest, as defined in 19 CFR 177.22(d), may seek judicial review of a final determination within 30 days of publication of such determination in the Federal Register. September 15, 2008 MAR–2–05 OT:RR:CTF:VS H030645 GOB CATEGORY: Marking Daniel B. Berman, Esq., Hancock & Estabrook, LLP, 1500 AXA Tower I, 100 Madison Street, Syracuse, NY 13202 RE: U.S. Government Procurement; Title III, Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 U.S.C. 2511); Subpart B, Part 177, CBP Regulations; Country of Origin Marking; Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Dear Mr. Berman: This is in response to your correspondence of May 1, 2008, requesting a final determination on behalf of Pass & Seymour, Inc. (‘‘P&S’’), pursuant to subpart B of Part 177, Customs and Border Protection (‘‘CBP’’) Regulations (19 CFR 177.21 et seq.). Your letter was forwarded to CBP’s National Commodity Specialist Division in New York and was returned to this office by memorandum of June 3, 2008. Under the pertinent regulations, which implement Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2511 et seq.), CBP issues country of origin advisory rulings and final determinations as to whether an article is or would be a product of a designated country or instrumentality for the purpose of granting waivers of PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 certain ‘‘Buy American’’ restrictions in U.S. law or practice for products offered for sale to the U.S. Government. This final determination concerns the country of origin of a ground fault circuit interrupter (‘‘GFCI’’). We note that P&S is a party-at-interest within the meaning of 19 CFR 177.22(d)(1) and is entitled to request this final determination. You also request a country of origin marking determination. Facts You describe the pertinent facts as follows. The business of P&S includes the design, manufacture, and distribution of GFCI’s in the U.S. for residential and commercial use in electrical circuits of less than 1,000 volts. The GFCI’s are electrical components, designed for installation in electrical circuits, which are able to detect small imbalances in the circuit’s current caused by leakages of current to ground. When leakage is detected, the GFCI opens the electrical circuit, stopping the flow of current. Legrand, the parent company of P&S, produces the subcomponents of the GFCI in China through another subsidiary, Rocom Electric Co. Ltd. (‘‘Rocom’’). The subcomponents include the following: cover, reset button, test button, spring, light pipe, strap assembly, assembly terminals, contact, separator, springs, latch block top, spark gap blades, assembly screw terminals, armature, spring assembly, term assemblies, PCB subassembly, assembly screw terminals, back body, screws and labels. Rocom plans to ship the subcomponents to a facility in Mexico where they will be assembled into the GFCI’s. The GFCI’s will be tested and packaged at the same facility. Upon completion of assembly, testing, and packaging, the GFCI’s will be imported into the U.S. by P&S for sale and distribution. You state that the process in Mexico to assemble the GFCI is comprised of forty-three discrete steps and takes approximately ten minutes. You state that each GFCI is comprised of thirty component parts which, until inclusion in the final GFCI, have little or no functionality. An exhibit to your correspondence, which includes photographs, describes the assembly process as follows: 1. Place back body into date code fixture/stamping press and press button to apply date code on side of back body. 2. Remove back body from date code fixture. Place hot terminal screw pressure plate assembly into back body cradle on line end. E:\FR\FM\19SEN1.SGM 19SEN1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 183 / Friday, September 19, 2008 / Notices 3. Place neutral terminal screw pressure plate assembly into back body cradle on line end. 4. Place printed circuit board subassembly into back body, capturing terminal screw pressure plate subassemblies under line terminals. 5. Place hot terminal screw pressure plate subassembly into back body cradle on load end. 6. Place neutral terminal screw pressure plate subassembly into back body cradle on load end. 7. Place hot load terminal assembly into back body, over load screw pressure plate subassembly. 8. Place neutral load terminal subassembly into back body, over load screw pressure plate assembly. 9. Place two break springs into latch block. 10. Place latch block with springs onto line contacts, aligning leg of latch block over auxiliary switch on printed circuit board subassembly. 11. Drop separator over device, aligning test resistor lead through role in separator. Snap separator onto back body. 12. Place strap subassembly into center channel of separator. 13. Place hot side load contact into slot in separator. 14. Bend test resistor lead over with finger to test blade slot. 15. Press test blade leg into slot in separator, capturing test resistor lead in slot on bottom leg of test blade. 16. Place neutral side load contact into slot in separator. 17. Place light pipe into slot in separator. 18. Place reset button spring subassembly into hole through separator. 19. Set two shutter subassemblies into pockets in test button subassembly. 20. Place test button subassembly on top of device, fitting over reset button subassembly and light pipe. 21. Turn device over. Place four assembly screws in holes at corners of back body. 22. Run assembly screws in and torque down with driver. 23. Place device in automated final tester fixture. 24. Short circuit test. 25. False trip test. 26. Trip level test in forward polarity. 27. Trip level test in reverse polarity. 28. Grounded-neutral test. 29. Test-button test. 30. Dielectric test. 31. Response time test with 500 ohm fault resistor. 32. If device passes all tests, hand solder link across solder bridge on bottom of printed circuit board to activate miswire circuit. VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:25 Sep 18, 2008 Jkt 214001 33. Depress reset button on device and place device in automatic miswirefunction tester. Push button to initiate test to verify device trips. 34. If device passes, snap plastic cap into back body, covering miswire solder bridge. 35. Remove miswire label from roll and apply across back body and load terminal screws. 36. Remove UL label from roll and apply to neutral side of device, overlapping back body, separator and cover. 37. Place cardboard protector over face of device. 38. Place wallplate subassembly with captive screws over cardboard protector and face of device. 39. Take stack of three pre-folded instruction sheets and fuse box label and place under device. 40. Remove product box label from roll and place on flap of individual box. 41. Assemble individual box, closing flap on one end. 42. Slide device, protector, wallplate and instruction sheets into individual box and close flap. 43. Place individual box in carton for shipping. Issues 1. What is the country of origin of the GFCI’s for the purpose of U.S. government procurement? 2. What is the country of origin of the GFCI’s for the purpose of marking? Law and Analysis Government Procurement Pursuant to Subpart B of Part 177, 19 CFR 177.21 et seq., which implements Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2511 et seq.), CBP issues country of origin advisory rulings and final determinations as to whether an article is or would be a product of a designated country or instrumentality for the purposes of granting waivers of certain ‘‘Buy American’’ restrictions in U.S. law or practice for products offered for sale to the U.S. Government. Under the rule of origin set forth under 19 U.S.C. 2518(4)(B): An article is a product of a country or instrumentality only if (i) it is wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of that country or instrumentality, or (ii) in the case of an article which consists in whole or in part of materials from another country or instrumentality, it has been substantially transformed into a new and different article of commerce with a name, character, or use distinct from that of the article or articles from which it was so transformed. See also, 19 CFR 177.22(a). In rendering advisory rulings and final determinations for purposes of PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 54421 U.S. government procurement, CBP applies the provisions of subpart B of Part 177 consistent with the Federal Acquisition Regulations. See 19 CFR 177.21. In this regard, CBP recognizes that the Federal Acquisition Regulations restrict the U.S. Government’s purchase of products to U.S.-made or designated country end products for acquisitions subject to the TAA. See 48 CFR 25.403(c)(1). The Federal Acquisition Regulations define ‘‘U.S.-made end product’’ as: ... an article that is mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States or that is substantially transformed in the United States into a new and different article of commerce with a name, character, or use distinct from that of the article or articles from which it was transformed. 48 CFR 25.003. In determining whether the combining of parts or materials constitutes a substantial transformation, the determinative issue is the extent of operations performed and whether the parts lose their identity and become an integral part of the new article. Belcrest Linens v. United States, 573 F. Supp. 1149 (Ct. Int’l Trade 1983), aff’d, 741 F.2d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 1984). Assembly operations that are minimal or simple, as opposed to complex or meaningful, will generally not result in a substantial transformation. Factors which may be relevant in this evaluation may include the nature of the operation (including the number of components assembled), the number of different operations involved, and whether a significant period of time, skill, detail, and quality control are necessary for the assembly operation. See C.S.D. 80–111, C.S.D. 85– 25, C.S.D. 89–110, C.S.D. 89–118, C.S.D. 90–51, and C.S.D. 90–97. If the manufacturing or combining process is a minor one which leaves the identity of the article intact, a substantial transformation has not occurred. Uniroyal, Inc. v. United States, 3 CIT 220, 542 F. Supp. 1026 (1982), aff’d 702 F. 2d 1022 (Fed. Cir. 1983). In Uniroyal, the court determined that a substantial transformation did not occur when an imported upper, the essence of the finished article, was combined with a domestically produced outsole to form a shoe. In order to determine whether a substantial transformation occurs when components of various origins are assembled into completed products, CBP considers the totality of the circumstances and makes such determinations on a case-by-case basis. The country of origin of the item’s components, extent of the processing that occurs within a country, and whether such processing renders a E:\FR\FM\19SEN1.SGM 19SEN1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES 54422 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 183 / Friday, September 19, 2008 / Notices product with a new name, character, and use are primary considerations in such cases. Additionally, factors such as the resources expended on product design and development, extent and nature of post-assembly inspection and testing procedures, and the degree of skill required during the actual manufacturing process may be relevant when determining whether a substantial transformation has occurred. No one factor is determinative. In a number of rulings (e.g., HQ 735608, dated April 27, 1995 and HQ 559089 dated August 24, 1995), CBP has stated: ‘‘In our experience these inquiries are highly fact and product specific; generalizations are troublesome and potentially misleading. The determination is in this instance ‘a mixed question of technology and customs law, mostly the latter.’ Texas Instruments, Inc. v. United States, 681 F.2d 778, 783 (CCPA 1982).’’ In HQ 734050 dated June 17, 1991, CBP held that the assembly of five subassemblies by a screwdriver operation that took 45 minutes was not a substantial transformation. In HQ 561392 dated June 21, 1999, CBP considered the country of origin marking requirements of an insulated electric conductor which involved an electrical cable with pin connectors at each end used to connect computers to printers or other peripheral devices. The cable and connectors were made in Taiwan. In China, the cable was cut to length and connectors were attached to the cable. CBP held that cutting the cable to length and assembling the cable to the connectors in China did not result in a substantial transformation. In HQ 560214 dated September 3, 1997, CBP held that where wire rope cable was cut to length, sliding hooks were put on the rope, and end ferrules were swaged on in the U.S., the wire rope cable was not substantially transformed. CBP concluded that the wire rope maintained its character and did not lose its identity and did not become an integral part of a new article when attached with the hardware. In HQ 555774 dated December 10, 1990, CBP held that Japanese wire cut to length and electrical connectors crimped onto the ends of the wire was not a substantial transformation. In HQ 562754 dated August 11, 2003, CBP found that cutting of cable to length and assembling the cable to the Chineseorigin connectors in China did not result in a substantial transformation of the cable. This case involves 30 components manufactured in China which are proposed to be assembled in Mexico in a process involving 43 steps which will VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:25 Sep 18, 2008 Jkt 214001 take ten minutes. After a careful consideration of the pertinent facts and authorities, we find that the assembly operations to be performed in Mexico are not sufficiently complex for the process to result in a substantial transformation of the components. We note that the printed circuit board subassembly from China is placed into the back body of the GFCI. It is a major functional part of the finished GFCI and provides the essential character to the GFCI. Further, we note that: only a short amount of time is required for assembly (ten minutes); the assembly process itself is not at all complex; many of the steps involve testing, which we do not find in this case to be significant with respect to a substantial transformation claim; and all of the components are manufactured in China. Therefore, based upon our finding that there is no substantial transformation of the components in Mexico, we determine that the country of origin of the GFCI for government procurement purposes is China. Country of Origin Marking 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 United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit, in such 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, CBP Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. § 1304. Section 134.1(b), CBP Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)), defines the country of origin of an article as the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States. 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 for country of origin marking purposes; however, for a good of a NAFTA country, the NAFTA Marking Rules will determine the country of origin. Section 134.1(j), CBP Regulations provides that the ‘‘NAFTA Marking Rules’’ are the rules promulgated for purposes of determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country. Section 134.1(g), CBP Regulations defines a ‘‘good of a NAFTA country’’ as an article for which the country of origin is Canada, Mexico or the United States as determined under the NAFTA Marking Rules. PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Part 102, CBP Regulations (19 CFR Part 102), sets forth the ‘‘NAFTA Marking Rules’’ for purposes of determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country. Section 102.11, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 102.11) sets forth the required hierarchy for determining country of origin for marking purposes. Section 102.11(a), CBP Regulations provides that the country of origin of a good is the country in which: (1) The good is wholly obtained or produced; (2) The good is produced exclusively from domestic materials; or (3) Each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in section 102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section, and all other requirements of these rules are satisfied. ‘‘Foreign Material’’ is defined in section 102.1(e), CBP Regulations as ‘‘a material whose country of origin as determined under these rules is not the same country as the country in which the good is produced.’’ We find that we are unable to determine the country of origin of the GFCI by section 102.11(a), CBP Regulations. Section 102.11(a)(1) and (2) are not applicable, i.e., the GFCI is not wholly obtained or produced and the GFCI is not produced exclusively from domestic materials. Further, pursuant to section 102.11(a)(3), CBP Regulations, there is no applicable change in tariff classification for each foreign material as set out in section 102.20, CBP Regulations, as the GFCI and the PCB subassembly are both classified in subheading 8536.30.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (‘‘HTSUS’’). Section 102.11(b), CBP Regulations provides in pertinent part that, except for a good that is specifically described in the HTSUS as a set, or is classified as a set pursuant to General Rule of Interpretation 3 (neither of these conditions are satisfied), where the country of origin cannot be determined under paragraph (a) of section 102.11: (1) The country of origin of the good is the country or countries of origin of the single material that imparts the essential character of the good[.] Section 102.18(b)(1), CBP Regulations provides in pertinent part as follows: (b)(1) For purposes of identifying the material that imparts the essential character to a good under § 102.11, the only materials that shall be taken into consideration are those domestic or foreign materials that are classified in a tariff provision from which a change in tariff classification is not allowed under E:\FR\FM\19SEN1.SGM 19SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 183 / Friday, September 19, 2008 / Notices the § 102.20 specific rule or other requirements applicable to the good. A change in tariff classification is not allowed with respect to the PCB subassembly. As stated above, both the PCB subassembly and the GFCI are classified in subheading 8536.30.80, HTSUS. The PCB subassembly is manufactured in China (as are all of the components of the GFCI). Therefore, under section 102.11(b)(1), CBP Regulations, the country of origin of the GFCI is China. Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304, the country of origin of the GFCI for country of origin marking purposes is China. Holdings The assembly operations to be performed in Mexico are not sufficiently complex for the process to result in a substantial transformation of the components. Therefore, the country of origin of the GFCI for government procurement purposes is China. Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304, the country of origin of the GFCI for country of origin marking purposes is China. Notice of this final determination will be given in the Federal Register, as required by 19 CFR 177.29. Any partyat-interest other than the party which requested this final determination may request, pursuant to 19 CFR 177.31, that CBP reexamine the matter anew and issue a new final determination. Pursuant to 19 CFR 177.30, any partyat-interest may, within 30 days after publication of the Federal Register notice referenced above, seek judicial review of this final determination before the Court of International Trade. Sincerely, Myles B. Harmon, Acting Executive Director, Office of Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR–5186–N–38] Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the Homeless Office of the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, HUD. ACTION: Notice. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:25 Sep 18, 2008 Jkt 214001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathy Ezzell, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street, SW., Room 7262, Washington, DC 20410; telephone (202) 708–1234; TTY number for the hearing- and speech-impaired (202) 708–2565, (these telephone numbers are not toll-free), or call the toll-free Title V information line at 800–927–7588. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the December 12, 1988 court order in National Coalition for the Homeless v. Veterans Administration, No. 88–2503–OG (D.D.C.), HUD publishes a Notice, on a weekly basis, identifying unutilized, underutilized, excess and surplus Federal buildings and real property that HUD has reviewed for suitability for use to assist the homeless. Today’s Notice is for the purpose of announcing that no additional properties have been determined suitable or unsuitable this week. Dated: September 11, 2008. Mark R. Johnston, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs. [FR Doc. E8–21696 Filed 9–18–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R2–ES–2008–N0230; 20124–1113– 0000–F5] Endangered and Threatened Species Permit Applications Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of receipt of applications. BILLING CODE 9111–14–P SUMMARY: This Notice identifies unutilized, underutilized, excess, and surplus Federal property reviewed by HUD for suitability for possible use to assist the homeless. Effective Date: September 19, 2008. AGENCY: [FR Doc. E8–21934 Filed 9–18–08; 8:45 am] AGENCY: DATES: SUMMARY: The following applicants have applied for scientific research permits to conduct certain activities with endangered species pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. DATES: To ensure consideration, written comments must be received on or before October 20, 2008. Written comments should be submitted to the Chief, Endangered Species Division, Ecological Services, P.O. Box 1306, Room 6034, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103. Documents and other information submitted with these applications are available for review, subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act. Documents will be available for public inspection, ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 54423 by appointment only, during normal business hours at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 500 Gold Ave., SW., Room 6034, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Please refer to the respective permit number for each application when submitting comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chief, Endangered Species Division, P.O. Box 1306, Room 4102, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103, (505) 248–6920. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Permit TE–122856 Applicant: George Myers, Buda, Texas. Applicant requests an amendment to a current permit for research and recovery purposes to conduct presence/ absence surveys of golden-cheeked warbler (Dendroica chryosparia) and black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapilla) within Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Permit TE–187090 Applicant: Patricia Salas, Castle Hills, Texas. Applicant requests a new permit for research and recovery purposes to conduct presence/absence surveys of golden-cheeked warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia) and black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapillus) within Texas. Permit TE–188015 Applicant: Pueblo of Santa Ana-Natural Resources, Pueblo of Santa Ana, New Mexico. Applicant requests a new permit for research and recovery purposes to conduct presence/absence surveys of the Rio Grande silvery minnow (Hybognathus amarus) on lands within the Pueblo of Santa Ana. Permit TE–189566 Applicant: Monica Geick, Austin, Texas. Applicant requests a new permit for research and recovery purposes to conduct presence/absence surveys of golden-cheeked warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia) and black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapillus) within Texas. E:\FR\FM\19SEN1.SGM 19SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 183 (Friday, September 19, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 54420-54423]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-21934]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION


Notice of Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Ground Fault 
Circuit Interrupter

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland 
Security.

ACTION: Notice of final determination.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document provides notice that U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection (``CBP'') has issued a final determination concerning the 
country of origin of a ground fault circuit interrupter (``GFCI''). 
Based upon the facts presented, CBP has concluded in the final 
determination that China is the country of origin of the GFCI for 
purposes of U.S. Government procurement.

DATES: The final determination was issued on September 15, 2008. A copy 
of the final determination is attached. Any party-at-interest, as 
defined in 19 CFR 177.22(d), may seek judicial review of this final 
determination within October 20, 2008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gerry O'Brien, Valuation and Special 
Programs Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade 
(202-572-8792).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is hereby given that on September 15, 
2008, pursuant to subpart B of part 177, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 
part 177, subpart B), CBP issued a final determination concerning the 
country of origin of GFCI's which may be offered to the United States 
Government under an undesignated government procurement contract. This 
final determination, in HQ H030645, was issued at the request of Pass & 
Seymour, Inc. under procedures set forth at 19 CFR part 177, subpart B, 
which implements Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as 
amended (19 U.S.C. 2511-18). In the final determination, CBP has 
concluded that, based upon the facts presented, certain GFCI's, 
assembled in Mexico from parts made in China, are not substantially 
transformed in Mexico, such that China is the country of origin of the 
finished article for purposes of U.S. Government procurement.
    Section 177.29, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.29), provides that 
notice of final determinations shall be published in the Federal 
Register within 60 days of the date the final determination is issued. 
Section 177.30, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 177.30), provides that any 
party-at-interest, as defined in 19 CFR 177.22(d), may seek judicial 
review of a final determination within 30 days of publication of such 
determination in the Federal Register.

    Dated: September 15, 2008.
Myles B. Harmon,
Acting Executive Director, Office of Regulations and Rulings, Office of 
International Trade.
HQ H030645
September 15, 2008
MAR-2-05 OT:RR:CTF:VS H030645 GOB

CATEGORY: Marking

Daniel B. Berman, Esq., Hancock & Estabrook, LLP, 1500 AXA Tower I, 100 
Madison Street, Syracuse, NY 13202

RE: U.S. Government Procurement; Title III, Trade Agreements Act of 
1979 (19 U.S.C. 2511); Subpart B, Part 177, CBP Regulations; Country of 
Origin Marking; Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)

    Dear Mr. Berman: This is in response to your correspondence of May 
1, 2008, requesting a final determination on behalf of Pass & Seymour, 
Inc. (``P&S''), pursuant to subpart B of Part 177, Customs and Border 
Protection (``CBP'') Regulations (19 CFR 177.21 et seq.). Your letter 
was forwarded to CBP's National Commodity Specialist Division in New 
York and was returned to this office by memorandum of June 3, 2008. 
Under the pertinent regulations, which implement Title III of the Trade 
Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2511 et seq.), CBP issues 
country of origin advisory rulings and final determinations as to 
whether an article is or would be a product of a designated country or 
instrumentality for the purpose of granting waivers of certain ``Buy 
American'' restrictions in U.S. law or practice for products offered 
for sale to the U.S. Government.
    This final determination concerns the country of origin of a ground 
fault circuit interrupter (``GFCI''). We note that P&S is a party-at-
interest within the meaning of 19 CFR 177.22(d)(1) and is entitled to 
request this final determination.
    You also request a country of origin marking determination.

Facts

    You describe the pertinent facts as follows. The business of P&S 
includes the design, manufacture, and distribution of GFCI's in the 
U.S. for residential and commercial use in electrical circuits of less 
than 1,000 volts. The GFCI's are electrical components, designed for 
installation in electrical circuits, which are able to detect small 
imbalances in the circuit's current caused by leakages of current to 
ground. When leakage is detected, the GFCI opens the electrical 
circuit, stopping the flow of current. Legrand, the parent company of 
P&S, produces the subcomponents of the GFCI in China through another 
subsidiary, Rocom Electric Co. Ltd. (``Rocom''). The subcomponents 
include the following: cover, reset button, test button, spring, light 
pipe, strap assembly, assembly terminals, contact, separator, springs, 
latch block top, spark gap blades, assembly screw terminals, armature, 
spring assembly, term assemblies, PCB subassembly, assembly screw 
terminals, back body, screws and labels. Rocom plans to ship the 
subcomponents to a facility in Mexico where they will be assembled into 
the GFCI's. The GFCI's will be tested and packaged at the same 
facility. Upon completion of assembly, testing, and packaging, the 
GFCI's will be imported into the U.S. by P&S for sale and distribution.
    You state that the process in Mexico to assemble the GFCI is 
comprised of forty-three discrete steps and takes approximately ten 
minutes. You state that each GFCI is comprised of thirty component 
parts which, until inclusion in the final GFCI, have little or no 
functionality.
    An exhibit to your correspondence, which includes photographs, 
describes the assembly process as follows:
    1. Place back body into date code fixture/stamping press and press 
button to apply date code on side of back body.
    2. Remove back body from date code fixture. Place hot terminal 
screw pressure plate assembly into back body cradle on line end.

[[Page 54421]]

    3. Place neutral terminal screw pressure plate assembly into back 
body cradle on line end.
    4. Place printed circuit board subassembly into back body, 
capturing terminal screw pressure plate subassemblies under line 
terminals.
    5. Place hot terminal screw pressure plate subassembly into back 
body cradle on load end.
    6. Place neutral terminal screw pressure plate subassembly into 
back body cradle on load end.
    7. Place hot load terminal assembly into back body, over load screw 
pressure plate subassembly.
    8. Place neutral load terminal subassembly into back body, over 
load screw pressure plate assembly.
    9. Place two break springs into latch block.
    10. Place latch block with springs onto line contacts, aligning leg 
of latch block over auxiliary switch on printed circuit board 
subassembly.
    11. Drop separator over device, aligning test resistor lead through 
role in separator. Snap separator onto back body.
    12. Place strap subassembly into center channel of separator.
    13. Place hot side load contact into slot in separator.
    14. Bend test resistor lead over with finger to test blade slot.
    15. Press test blade leg into slot in separator, capturing test 
resistor lead in slot on bottom leg of test blade.
    16. Place neutral side load contact into slot in separator.
    17. Place light pipe into slot in separator.
    18. Place reset button spring subassembly into hole through 
separator.
    19. Set two shutter subassemblies into pockets in test button 
subassembly.
    20. Place test button subassembly on top of device, fitting over 
reset button subassembly and light pipe.
    21. Turn device over. Place four assembly screws in holes at 
corners of back body.
    22. Run assembly screws in and torque down with driver.
    23. Place device in automated final tester fixture.
    24. Short circuit test.
    25. False trip test.
    26. Trip level test in forward polarity.
    27. Trip level test in reverse polarity.
    28. Grounded-neutral test.
    29. Test-button test.
    30. Dielectric test.
    31. Response time test with 500 ohm fault resistor.
    32. If device passes all tests, hand solder link across solder 
bridge on bottom of printed circuit board to activate miswire circuit.
    33. Depress reset button on device and place device in automatic 
miswire-function tester. Push button to initiate test to verify device 
trips.
    34. If device passes, snap plastic cap into back body, covering 
miswire solder bridge.
    35. Remove miswire label from roll and apply across back body and 
load terminal screws.
    36. Remove UL label from roll and apply to neutral side of device, 
overlapping back body, separator and cover.
    37. Place cardboard protector over face of device.
    38. Place wallplate subassembly with captive screws over cardboard 
protector and face of device.
    39. Take stack of three pre-folded instruction sheets and fuse box 
label and place under device.
    40. Remove product box label from roll and place on flap of 
individual box.
    41. Assemble individual box, closing flap on one end.
    42. Slide device, protector, wallplate and instruction sheets into 
individual box and close flap.
    43. Place individual box in carton for shipping.

Issues

    1. What is the country of origin of the GFCI's for the purpose of 
U.S. government procurement?
    2. What is the country of origin of the GFCI's for the purpose of 
marking?

Law and Analysis

Government Procurement

    Pursuant to Subpart B of Part 177, 19 CFR 177.21 et seq., which 
implements Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended 
(19 U.S.C. 2511 et seq.), CBP issues country of origin advisory rulings 
and final determinations as to whether an article is or would be a 
product of a designated country or instrumentality for the purposes of 
granting waivers of certain ``Buy American'' restrictions in U.S. law 
or practice for products offered for sale to the U.S. Government.
    Under the rule of origin set forth under 19 U.S.C. 2518(4)(B):

    An article is a product of a country or instrumentality only if 
(i) it is wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of that country 
or instrumentality, or (ii) in the case of an article which consists 
in whole or in part of materials from another country or 
instrumentality, it has been substantially transformed into a new 
and different article of commerce with a name, character, or use 
distinct from that of the article or articles from which it was so 
transformed.

See also, 19 CFR 177.22(a).
    In rendering advisory rulings and final determinations for purposes 
of U.S. government procurement, CBP applies the provisions of subpart B 
of Part 177 consistent with the Federal Acquisition Regulations. See 19 
CFR 177.21. In this regard, CBP recognizes that the Federal Acquisition 
Regulations restrict the U.S. Government's purchase of products to 
U.S.-made or designated country end products for acquisitions subject 
to the TAA. See 48 CFR 25.403(c)(1). The Federal Acquisition 
Regulations define ``U.S.-made end product'' as:

    ... an article that is mined, produced, or manufactured in the 
United States or that is substantially transformed in the United 
States into a new and different article of commerce with a name, 
character, or use distinct from that of the article or articles from 
which it was transformed.

48 CFR 25.003.
    In determining whether the combining of parts or materials 
constitutes a substantial transformation, the determinative issue is 
the extent of operations performed and whether the parts lose their 
identity and become an integral part of the new article. Belcrest 
Linens v. United States, 573 F. Supp. 1149 (Ct. Int'l Trade 1983), 
aff'd, 741 F.2d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 1984). Assembly operations that are 
minimal or simple, as opposed to complex or meaningful, will generally 
not result in a substantial transformation. Factors which may be 
relevant in this evaluation may include the nature of the operation 
(including the number of components assembled), the number of different 
operations involved, and whether a significant period of time, skill, 
detail, and quality control are necessary for the assembly operation. 
See C.S.D. 80-111, C.S.D. 85-25, C.S.D. 89-110, C.S.D. 89-118, C.S.D. 
90-51, and C.S.D. 90-97. If the manufacturing or combining process is a 
minor one which leaves the identity of the article intact, a 
substantial transformation has not occurred. Uniroyal, Inc. v. United 
States, 3 CIT 220, 542 F. Supp. 1026 (1982), aff'd 702 F. 2d 1022 (Fed. 
Cir. 1983). In Uniroyal, the court determined that a substantial 
transformation did not occur when an imported upper, the essence of the 
finished article, was combined with a domestically produced outsole to 
form a shoe.
    In order to determine whether a substantial transformation occurs 
when components of various origins are assembled into completed 
products, CBP considers the totality of the circumstances and makes 
such determinations on a case-by-case basis. The country of origin of 
the item's components, extent of the processing that occurs within a 
country, and whether such processing renders a

[[Page 54422]]

product with a new name, character, and use are primary considerations 
in such cases. Additionally, factors such as the resources expended on 
product design and development, extent and nature of post-assembly 
inspection and testing procedures, and the degree of skill required 
during the actual manufacturing process may be relevant when 
determining whether a substantial transformation has occurred. No one 
factor is determinative.
    In a number of rulings (e.g., HQ 735608, dated April 27, 1995 and 
HQ 559089 dated August 24, 1995), CBP has stated: ``In our experience 
these inquiries are highly fact and product specific; generalizations 
are troublesome and potentially misleading. The determination is in 
this instance `a mixed question of technology and customs law, mostly 
the latter.' Texas Instruments, Inc. v. United States, 681 F.2d 778, 
783 (CCPA 1982).''
    In HQ 734050 dated June 17, 1991, CBP held that the assembly of 
five subassemblies by a screwdriver operation that took 45 minutes was 
not a substantial transformation. In HQ 561392 dated June 21, 1999, CBP 
considered the country of origin marking requirements of an insulated 
electric conductor which involved an electrical cable with pin 
connectors at each end used to connect computers to printers or other 
peripheral devices. The cable and connectors were made in Taiwan. In 
China, the cable was cut to length and connectors were attached to the 
cable. CBP held that cutting the cable to length and assembling the 
cable to the connectors in China did not result in a substantial 
transformation. In HQ 560214 dated September 3, 1997, CBP held that 
where wire rope cable was cut to length, sliding hooks were put on the 
rope, and end ferrules were swaged on in the U.S., the wire rope cable 
was not substantially transformed. CBP concluded that the wire rope 
maintained its character and did not lose its identity and did not 
become an integral part of a new article when attached with the 
hardware. In HQ 555774 dated December 10, 1990, CBP held that Japanese 
wire cut to length and electrical connectors crimped onto the ends of 
the wire was not a substantial transformation. In HQ 562754 dated 
August 11, 2003, CBP found that cutting of cable to length and 
assembling the cable to the Chinese-origin connectors in China did not 
result in a substantial transformation of the cable.
    This case involves 30 components manufactured in China which are 
proposed to be assembled in Mexico in a process involving 43 steps 
which will take ten minutes. After a careful consideration of the 
pertinent facts and authorities, we find that the assembly operations 
to be performed in Mexico are not sufficiently complex for the process 
to result in a substantial transformation of the components. We note 
that the printed circuit board subassembly from China is placed into 
the back body of the GFCI. It is a major functional part of the 
finished GFCI and provides the essential character to the GFCI. 
Further, we note that: only a short amount of time is required for 
assembly (ten minutes); the assembly process itself is not at all 
complex; many of the steps involve testing, which we do not find in 
this case to be significant with respect to a substantial 
transformation claim; and all of the components are manufactured in 
China.
    Therefore, based upon our finding that there is no substantial 
transformation of the components in Mexico, we determine that the 
country of origin of the GFCI for government procurement purposes is 
China.

Country of Origin Marking

    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 United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place 
as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or 
container) will permit, in such 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, CBP Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country 
of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. Sec.  1304. 
Section 134.1(b), CBP Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)), defines the 
country of origin of an article as the country of manufacture, 
production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the 
United States. 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 for country of origin marking 
purposes; however, for a good of a NAFTA country, the NAFTA Marking 
Rules will determine the country of origin.
    Section 134.1(j), CBP Regulations provides that the ``NAFTA Marking 
Rules'' are the rules promulgated for purposes of determining whether a 
good is a good of a NAFTA country. Section 134.1(g), CBP Regulations 
defines a ``good of a NAFTA country'' as an article for which the 
country of origin is Canada, Mexico or the United States as determined 
under the NAFTA Marking Rules.
    Part 102, CBP Regulations (19 CFR Part 102), sets forth the ``NAFTA 
Marking Rules'' for purposes of determining whether a good is a good of 
a NAFTA country. Section 102.11, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 102.11) sets 
forth the required hierarchy for determining country of origin for 
marking purposes. Section 102.11(a), CBP Regulations provides that the 
country of origin of a good is the country in which:
    (1) The good is wholly obtained or produced;
    (2) The good is produced exclusively from domestic materials; or
    (3) Each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an 
applicable change in tariff classification set out in section 102.20 
and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section, and 
all other requirements of these rules are satisfied.
    ``Foreign Material'' is defined in section 102.1(e), CBP 
Regulations as ``a material whose country of origin as determined under 
these rules is not the same country as the country in which the good is 
produced.''
    We find that we are unable to determine the country of origin of 
the GFCI by section 102.11(a), CBP Regulations. Section 102.11(a)(1) 
and (2) are not applicable, i.e., the GFCI is not wholly obtained or 
produced and the GFCI is not produced exclusively from domestic 
materials. Further, pursuant to section 102.11(a)(3), CBP Regulations, 
there is no applicable change in tariff classification for each foreign 
material as set out in section 102.20, CBP Regulations, as the GFCI and 
the PCB subassembly are both classified in subheading 8536.30.80, 
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (``HTSUS'').
    Section 102.11(b), CBP Regulations provides in pertinent part that, 
except for a good that is specifically described in the HTSUS as a set, 
or is classified as a set pursuant to General Rule of Interpretation 3 
(neither of these conditions are satisfied), where the country of 
origin cannot be determined under paragraph (a) of section 102.11:
    (1) The country of origin of the good is the country or countries 
of origin of the single material that imparts the essential character 
of the good[.]
    Section 102.18(b)(1), CBP Regulations provides in pertinent part as 
follows:
    (b)(1) For purposes of identifying the material that imparts the 
essential character to a good under Sec.  102.11, the only materials 
that shall be taken into consideration are those domestic or foreign 
materials that are classified in a tariff provision from which a change 
in tariff classification is not allowed under

[[Page 54423]]

the Sec.  102.20 specific rule or other requirements applicable to the 
good.
    A change in tariff classification is not allowed with respect to 
the PCB subassembly. As stated above, both the PCB subassembly and the 
GFCI are classified in subheading 8536.30.80, HTSUS. The PCB 
subassembly is manufactured in China (as are all of the components of 
the GFCI). Therefore, under section 102.11(b)(1), CBP Regulations, the 
country of origin of the GFCI is China.
    Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304, the country of origin of the GFCI for 
country of origin marking purposes is China.

Holdings

    The assembly operations to be performed in Mexico are not 
sufficiently complex for the process to result in a substantial 
transformation of the components. Therefore, the country of origin of 
the GFCI for government procurement purposes is China.
    Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304, the country of origin of the GFCI for 
country of origin marking purposes is China.
    Notice of this final determination will be given in the Federal 
Register, as required by 19 CFR 177.29. Any party-at-interest other 
than the party which requested this final determination may request, 
pursuant to 19 CFR 177.31, that CBP reexamine the matter anew and issue 
a new final determination. Pursuant to 19 CFR 177.30, any party-at-
interest may, within 30 days after publication of the Federal Register 
notice referenced above, seek judicial review of this final 
determination before the Court of International Trade.

 Sincerely,

Myles B. Harmon,
Acting Executive Director,
Office of Regulations and Rulings,
Office of International Trade.

[FR Doc. E8-21934 Filed 9-18-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-14-P