Notice of Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Solar Modules, 57198-57200 [2015-24082]

Download as PDF 57198 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 183 / Tuesday, September 22, 2015 / Notices services for substance abuse and mental illness. To support this mission, the Agency’s overarching goals are: • Accountability—Establish systems to ensure program performance measurement and accountability • Capacity—Build, maintain, and enhance mental health and substance abuse infrastructure and capacity • Effectiveness—Enable all communities and providers to deliver effective services Each of these key goals complements SAMHSA’s legislative mandate. All of SAMHSA’s programs and activities are geared toward the achievement of these goals and performance monitoring is a collaborative and cooperative aspect of this process. SAMHSA will strive to coordinate the development of these goals with other ongoing performance measurement development activities. The total annual burden estimate is shown below: ESTIMATES OF ANNUALIZED HOUR BURDEN [CMHS client outcome measures for discretionary programs] Number of respondents Type of response Responses per respondent 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Total responses Client-level baseline interview ......................................... Client-level 6-month reassessment interview 1 ................ Client-level discharge interview 2 ..................................... PBHCI- Section H Form Only Baseline ........................... PBHCI- Section H Form Only Follow-Up 3 ...................... PBHCI—Section H Form Only Discharge 4 ..................... HIV Continuum of Care Specific Form Baseline ............. HIV Continuum of Care Follow-Up 5 ................................ HIV Continuum of Care Discharge 6 ................................ Infrastructure development, prevention, and mental health promotion quarterly record abstraction 7 ........... 35,845 23,658 10,753 14,000 9,240 4,200 200 148 104 982 4.0 3928 Total .......................................................................... 36,827 .......................... 102,139 Hours per response 35,854 23,658 10,753 14,000 9,240 4,200 200 148 104 Total hour burden 0.45 0.45 0.45 .08 .08 .08 0.33 0.33 0.33 16,130 10,646 4,838 1,120 739 336 66 49 34 2.0 7,856 .......................... 48,814 Note: Numbers may not add to the totals due to rounding and some individual participants completing more than one form. 1 It is estimated that 66% of baseline clients will complete this interview. 2 It is estimated that 30% of baseline clients will complete this interview. 3 It is estimated that 74% of baseline clients will complete this interview. 4 It is estimated that 52% of baseline clients will complete this interview. 5 It is estimated that 52% of baseline clients will complete this interview. 6 It is estimated that 30% of baseline clients will complete this interview. 7 Grantees are required to report this information as a condition of their grant. No attrition is estimated. Send comments to Summer King, SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer, Room 2–1057, One Choke Cherry Road, Rockville, MD 20857 or email a copy at summer.king@samhsa.hhs.gov. Written comments should be received by November 23, 2015 Summer King, Statistician. The final determination was issued on September 16, 2015. 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 22, 2015. DATES: [FR Doc. 2015–24023 Filed 9–21–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162–20–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Ross Cunningham, Valuation and Special Programs Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade (202) 325–0034. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Notice of Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Solar Modules U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: Notice of final determination. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES This document provides notice that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (‘‘CBP’’) has issued a final determination concerning the country of VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:37 Sep 21, 2015 Jkt 235001 Notice is hereby given that on September 16, 2015 pursuant to subpart B of part 177, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Regulations (19 CFR part 177, subpart B), CBP issued a final determination concerning the country of origin of certain solar modules manufactured by Hanwha USA, which may be offered to SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: AGENCY: SUMMARY: origin of certain solar modules manufactured by Hanwha USA. Based upon the facts presented, CBP has concluded that the country of origin of the solar modules is Malaysia when Malaysian solar cells are used or Korea when Korean solar cells are used for purposes of U.S. Government procurement. PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the U.S. Government under an undesignated government procurement contract. This final determination, HQ H261693, was issued 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 concluded that the processing in Poland or Korea does not result in a substantial transformation. Therefore, the country of origin of the solar modules is Malaysia or Korea, where the solar cells are produced, for purposes of U.S. Government procurement. Section 177.29, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 177.29), provides that a notice of final determination 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. E:\FR\FM\22SEN1.SGM 22SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 183 / Tuesday, September 22, 2015 / Notices Dated: September 16, 2015. Harold Singer, Acting Executive Director, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade. Attachment tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES HQ H261693 September 16, 2015 OT:RR:CTF:VS H261693 RMC CATEGORY: Country of Origin Chip Purcell Cooley LLP 1299 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Suite 700 Washington, DC 20004–2400 Re: U.S. Government Procurement; Country of Origin of Solar Modules; Substantial Transformation Dear Mr. Purcell: This is in response to your letter dated January 12, 2015, requesting a final determination on behalf of Hanwha USA pursuant to Subpart B of part 177 of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (‘‘CBP’’) Regulations (19 CFR part 177). Under these regulations, which implement Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (‘‘TAA’’), 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 for products offered for sale to the U.S. Government. This final determination concerns the country of origin of certain solar modules. As a U.S. importer, Hanwha USA is a party-at-interest within the meaning of 19 CFR 177.22(d)(1) and is entitled to request this final determination. FACTS: Hanwha USA acts as the U.S. wholesaler and distributor of solar modules manufactured by Hanwha GmbH in Korea and Poland. The solar modules convert sunlight into energy and are generally incorporated into a system that includes other components such as inverters, racking systems, cable management systems, and monitoring systems. The systems are installed at facilities in order to generate electricity. Hanwha USA provided the following information on each component that goes into a finished product. 1. Solar Cells—Product of Malaysia or Korea 2. Glass—Product of China 3. Frames—Product of China or Belgium 4. Junction Box, Cable, and Connector— Product of China or Czech Republic 5. Back Sheets—Product of China or Germany 6. EVA—Product of Korea or Japan 7. Interconnect Ribbon—Product of Korea for solar panels assembled in Korea; product of Austria or Germany for solar panels assembled in Poland. The solar cells represent slightly more than half of the cost of the finished solar modules. Hanwha states that the components are assembled into finished products either in VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:39 Sep 21, 2015 Jkt 235001 Korea or Poland in the following nine-step process: 1. Incoming Inspection: Each component undergoes an incoming quality inspection and testing based on standard operating procedures. 2. Cell and String Soldering: Individual solar cells are soldered together using tincoated copper ribbons to form cell strings. 3. Matrix Preparation and Bus Bar Soldering: A robot places the cell strings on glass panels and workers complete the matrix layup. 4. Lamination: After inspection and electroluminescence testing, the matrix layups are transferred into vacuum laminators. 5. Trimming and Framing: Excess material is removed from the edge of the laminate and the aluminum frame is press-fit together. 6. Junction Box Installation: The junction box is attached to the back of the solar module using silicone glue. 7. Electrical Test: Each solar module undergoes a high-potential test at 6,000 volts, and electroluminescence test to inspect for micro-cracks and other defects, a flash test to measure performance, and a grounding test. 8. Final Inspection, Sorting, and Packaging: The junction box lids are applied and the solar modules are allowed to cure, followed by a final visual inspection of all solar modules. 9. Outgoing Quality Inspection: A sample of solar modules is removed after packaging for a final quality check. Hanwha USA notes that this process takes ‘‘less than one day’’ to complete. Hanwha USA also states that it conducts research and development in Korea and Poland related to the manufacturing process and the development of methods and systems to ensure stable production. ISSUE: Whether the manufacturing process described above ‘‘substantially transforms’’ the solar-module components such that the country of origin of the finished product is either Korea or Poland for U.S. Government procurement purposes. LAW AND ANALYSIS: 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 a product of a designated country for the purpose of granting waivers of certain ‘‘Buy American’’ restrictions on U.S. Government procurement. In rendering final determinations for purposes of U.S. Government procurement, CBP applies the provisions of Subpart B of Part 177 consistent with the Federal Procurement Regulations. See 19 CFR 177.21. The rule of origin applicable in this context states that ‘‘[a]n 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 PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 57199 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.’’ 19 U.S.C. 2518(4)(B); 19 CFR 177.22(a). Here, Hanwha cannot satisfy paragraph (i) of CFR 177.22(a), so the issue is whether the solar-module components are ‘‘substantially transformed’’ in Hanwha’s manufacturing processes in the Republic of Korea or Poland, as the case may be. In order to determine whether a substantial transformation occurs when components of various origins are assembled to form completed articles, CBP considers the totality of the circumstances and makes its decisions on a case-by-case basis. The country of origin of the article’s components, the extent of the processing that occurs within a given country, and whether such processing renders a product with a new name, character, and use are primary considerations in such cases. CBP also considers resources expended on product design and development, the extent and nature of postassembly inspection procedures, and the worker skill required during the actual manufacturing process; however, no one factor is determinative. A substantial transformation will not result from a minor manufacturing or combining process that leaves the identity of the article intact. See United States v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (1940); and National Hand Tool Corp. v. United States, 989 F.2d 1201 (Fed. Cir. 1992). The Court of International Trade has applied the ‘‘essence test’’ to determine whether the identity of an article is changed through assembly or processing. For example in Uniroyal, Inc. v. United States, 3 CIT 220, 225, 542 F. Supp. 1026, 1030 (1982), aff’d 702 F.2d 1022 (Fed. Cir. 1983), the court held that imported shoe uppers added to an outer sole in the United States were the ‘‘very essence of the finished shoe’’ and thus were not substantially transformed into a product of the United States. Similarly, in National Juice Prods. Ass’n v. United States, 10 CIT 48, 61, 628 F. Supp. 978, 991 (1986), the court held that imported orange juice concentrate ‘‘imparts the essential character’’ to the completed orange juice and thus was not substantially transformed into a product of the United States. In HQ H095409, dated Sept. 29, 2010, a U.S. manufacturer produced finished panels in California. Forty three percent of the cost content of the parts originated from the United States and all research and development took place in California. Key to our finding that a substantial transformation had taken place was the manufacturing process of the solar cells themselves. This process—which involved depositing thin films of chemicals on the inside of glass tubes—took five of the six and a half days it took to manufacture the finished solar panels. We found that turning bare glass tubes into functional solar cells in the United States constituted making a product with a new name, character, and use such that a substantial transformation had occurred. E:\FR\FM\22SEN1.SGM 22SEN1 57200 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 183 / Tuesday, September 22, 2015 / Notices Here, Hanwha’s assembly processes fall short of those described in H095409. For one, Hanwha’s assembly processes take less than a day, whereas those in H095409 took more than six. Moreover, although Hanwha conducts research and development in Korea and Poland, it is focused on the manufacturing process, not on product design and development. In the scenario where Malaysian solar cells are used, almost none of the parts in the finished panels come from either Korea or Poland, the two countries where the panels are assembled. Unlike H095409, which involved a 43% cost content of the country of assembly, here, where Malaysian solar cells are used, the cost content is at most 8.6% Korean for the panels assembled in Korea and 0% Polish for the panels assembled in Poland. Most importantly, however, the solar cells themselves are produced in Malaysia. As noted above, the complex manufacturing process of the solar cells themselves was key to our finding that a substantial transformation had occurred in H095409. Turning glass tubes into functioning solar cells resulted in a product with a new name, character, and use. Here, assembling solar cells into finished solar panels does not. Rather, we find that the solar cells impart the essential character of the solar panels. Therefore, where Malaysian solar cells are used, the country of origin for government-procurement purposes is Malaysia. Similarly, in the scenario where Korean solar cells are used, the country of origin for government-procurement purposes is Korea. HOLDING: Based on the facts of this case, the solar panels’ country of origin for U.S. Government procurement is Malaysia when Malaysian solar cells are used and Korea when Korean solar cells are used. Sincerely, Harold Singer, Acting Executive Director, Regulations & Rulings Office of International Trade. [FR Doc. 2015–24082 Filed 9–21–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY [Docket No. DHS–2014–0010] Infrastructure Assessments and Training National Protection and Programs Directorate, DHS. ACTION: 60-day notice and request for comments; Reinstatement, with change, of a previously approved collection: 1670–0009. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP), Infrastructure Information Collection Division (IICD), Infrastructure Protection Gateway (IP Gateway) SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:39 Sep 21, 2015 Jkt 235001 Program will submit the following Information Collection Request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–13, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). DATES: Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until November 23, 2015. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.1. ADDRESSES: Written comments and questions about this Information Collection Request should be forwarded to DHS/NPPD/IP/IICD, 245 Murray Lane SW., Mail Stop 0602, Arlington, VA 20598–0602. Emailed requests should go to Kimberly Sass, Kimberly.Sass@ hq.dhs.gov. Written comments should reach the contact person listed no later than November 23, 2015. Comments must be identified by ‘‘DHS–2014– 0010’’and may be submitted by one of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. • Email: Include the docket number in the subject line of the message. Instructions: All submissions received must include the words ‘‘Department of Homeland Security’’ and the docket number for this action. Comments received will be posted without alteration at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the direction of Homeland Security Presidential Directive-7 (2003), Presidential Policy Directive -21, and the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP 2013); NPPD/IP has developed the IP Gateway, a centrally managed repository of infrastructure capabilities allowing the Critical Infrastructure community to work in conjunction with each other toward the same goals. This collection encompasses three IP Gateway functions: General User Registration, Chemical Security Awareness Training Registration, and a User Satisfaction Survey. Upon requesting access to the IP Gateway, the multi-screen registration form requests the user’s full name, work address, contact information Protected Critical Infrastructure (PCII) training status, citizenship status, supervisor and sponsor information, and additional questions related to the user’s role in using the information. Upon registering for Chemical Security Awareness Training, a collection form requests the trainee’s desired username, password, proposed secret question & response, and company type, size, name, & location. For the voluntary User Satisfaction Survey, the collection form PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 requests information regarding the user’s job duties, types of information sought via the IP Gateway, access patterns, and system usability ratings. The survey information will be used to evaluate program and training performance as well as to gather any additional requirements for future IP Gateway system updates. OMB is particularly interested in comments that: 1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; 2. Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; 3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and 4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses. Analysis: Agency: Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Office of Infrastructure Protection, Infrastructure Information Collection Division, Infrastructure Protection Gateway Program. Title: Infrastructure Assessments and Training. OMB Number: 1670–0009. Frequency: Annually, quarterly, monthly, and weekly. Affected Public: Chief Information Officers, Chief Information Security Officers, Chief Technology Officers, and federal and state, local, tribal and territorial communities involved in the protection of CI. Number of Respondents: 9000 respondents (estimate). Estimated Time per Respondent: .5 hours (estimate). Total Burden Hours: 4,500 annual burden hours (estimate). Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0. Total Recordkeeping Burden: $0. Total Burden Cost (operating/ maintaining): $106,515.50 (estimate). E:\FR\FM\22SEN1.SGM 22SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 183 (Tuesday, September 22, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57198-57200]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-24082]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Customs and Border Protection


Notice of Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Solar 
Modules

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 certain solar modules manufactured by Hanwha USA. 
Based upon the facts presented, CBP has concluded that the country of 
origin of the solar modules is Malaysia when Malaysian solar cells are 
used or Korea when Korean solar cells are used for purposes of U.S. 
Government procurement.

DATES: The final determination was issued on September 16, 2015. 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 22, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ross Cunningham, Valuation and Special 
Programs Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade 
(202) 325-0034.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is hereby given that on September 16, 
2015 pursuant to subpart B of part 177, U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection Regulations (19 CFR part 177, subpart B), CBP issued a final 
determination concerning the country of origin of certain solar modules 
manufactured by Hanwha USA, which may be offered to the U.S. Government 
under an undesignated government procurement contract. This final 
determination, HQ H261693, was issued 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 concluded that the processing in Poland or Korea 
does not result in a substantial transformation. Therefore, the country 
of origin of the solar modules is Malaysia or Korea, where the solar 
cells are produced, for purposes of U.S. Government procurement.
    Section 177.29, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 177.29), provides that a 
notice of final determination 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.


[[Page 57199]]


    Dated: September 16, 2015.
Harold Singer,
Acting Executive Director, Regulations and Rulings, Office of 
International Trade.

Attachment

HQ H261693

September 16, 2015

OT:RR:CTF:VS H261693 RMC

CATEGORY: Country of Origin

Chip Purcell
Cooley LLP
1299 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20004-2400

Re: U.S. Government Procurement; Country of Origin of Solar Modules; 
Substantial Transformation

Dear Mr. Purcell:

    This is in response to your letter dated January 12, 2015, 
requesting a final determination on behalf of Hanwha USA pursuant to 
Subpart B of part 177 of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
(``CBP'') Regulations (19 CFR part 177). Under these regulations, 
which implement Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 
(``TAA''), 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 for products offered 
for sale to the U.S. Government. This final determination concerns 
the country of origin of certain solar modules. As a U.S. importer, 
Hanwha USA is a party-at-interest within the meaning of 19 CFR 
177.22(d)(1) and is entitled to request this final determination.

FACTS:

    Hanwha USA acts as the U.S. wholesaler and distributor of solar 
modules manufactured by Hanwha GmbH in Korea and Poland. The solar 
modules convert sunlight into energy and are generally incorporated 
into a system that includes other components such as inverters, 
racking systems, cable management systems, and monitoring systems. 
The systems are installed at facilities in order to generate 
electricity.
    Hanwha USA provided the following information on each component 
that goes into a finished product.

1. Solar Cells--Product of Malaysia or Korea
2. Glass--Product of China
3. Frames--Product of China or Belgium
4. Junction Box, Cable, and Connector--Product of China or Czech 
Republic
5. Back Sheets--Product of China or Germany
6. EVA--Product of Korea or Japan
7. Interconnect Ribbon--Product of Korea for solar panels assembled 
in Korea; product of Austria or Germany for solar panels assembled 
in Poland.

    The solar cells represent slightly more than half of the cost of 
the finished solar modules. Hanwha states that the components are 
assembled into finished products either in Korea or Poland in the 
following nine-step process:

1. Incoming Inspection: Each component undergoes an incoming quality 
inspection and testing based on standard operating procedures.
2. Cell and String Soldering: Individual solar cells are soldered 
together using tin-coated copper ribbons to form cell strings.
3. Matrix Preparation and Bus Bar Soldering: A robot places the cell 
strings on glass panels and workers complete the matrix layup.
4. Lamination: After inspection and electroluminescence testing, the 
matrix layups are transferred into vacuum laminators.
5. Trimming and Framing: Excess material is removed from the edge of 
the laminate and the aluminum frame is press-fit together.
6. Junction Box Installation: The junction box is attached to the 
back of the solar module using silicone glue.
7. Electrical Test: Each solar module undergoes a high-potential 
test at 6,000 volts, and electroluminescence test to inspect for 
micro-cracks and other defects, a flash test to measure performance, 
and a grounding test.
8. Final Inspection, Sorting, and Packaging: The junction box lids 
are applied and the solar modules are allowed to cure, followed by a 
final visual inspection of all solar modules.
9. Outgoing Quality Inspection: A sample of solar modules is removed 
after packaging for a final quality check.

    Hanwha USA notes that this process takes ``less than one day'' 
to complete. Hanwha USA also states that it conducts research and 
development in Korea and Poland related to the manufacturing process 
and the development of methods and systems to ensure stable 
production.

ISSUE:

    Whether the manufacturing process described above 
``substantially transforms'' the solar-module components such that 
the country of origin of the finished product is either Korea or 
Poland for U.S. Government procurement purposes.

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

    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 a 
product of a designated country for the purpose of granting waivers 
of certain ``Buy American'' restrictions on U.S. Government 
procurement.
    In rendering final determinations for purposes of U.S. 
Government procurement, CBP applies the provisions of Subpart B of 
Part 177 consistent with the Federal Procurement Regulations. See 19 
CFR 177.21. The rule of origin applicable in this context states 
that ``[a]n 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.'' 19 U.S.C. 2518(4)(B); 19 CFR 177.22(a). Here, Hanwha 
cannot satisfy paragraph (i) of CFR 177.22(a), so the issue is 
whether the solar-module components are ``substantially 
transformed'' in Hanwha's manufacturing processes in the Republic of 
Korea or Poland, as the case may be.
    In order to determine whether a substantial transformation 
occurs when components of various origins are assembled to form 
completed articles, CBP considers the totality of the circumstances 
and makes its decisions on a case-by-case basis. The country of 
origin of the article's components, the extent of the processing 
that occurs within a given country, and whether such processing 
renders a product with a new name, character, and use are primary 
considerations in such cases. CBP also considers resources expended 
on product design and development, the extent and nature of post-
assembly inspection procedures, and the worker skill required during 
the actual manufacturing process; however, no one factor is 
determinative.
    A substantial transformation will not result from a minor 
manufacturing or combining process that leaves the identity of the 
article intact. See United States v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 
267 (1940); and National Hand Tool Corp. v. United States, 989 F.2d 
1201 (Fed. Cir. 1992). The Court of International Trade has applied 
the ``essence test'' to determine whether the identity of an article 
is changed through assembly or processing. For example in Uniroyal, 
Inc. v. United States, 3 CIT 220, 225, 542 F. Supp. 1026, 1030 
(1982), aff'd 702 F.2d 1022 (Fed. Cir. 1983), the court held that 
imported shoe uppers added to an outer sole in the United States 
were the ``very essence of the finished shoe'' and thus were not 
substantially transformed into a product of the United States. 
Similarly, in National Juice Prods. Ass'n v. United States, 10 CIT 
48, 61, 628 F. Supp. 978, 991 (1986), the court held that imported 
orange juice concentrate ``imparts the essential character'' to the 
completed orange juice and thus was not substantially transformed 
into a product of the United States.
    In HQ H095409, dated Sept. 29, 2010, a U.S. manufacturer 
produced finished panels in California. Forty three percent of the 
cost content of the parts originated from the United States and all 
research and development took place in California. Key to our 
finding that a substantial transformation had taken place was the 
manufacturing process of the solar cells themselves. This process--
which involved depositing thin films of chemicals on the inside of 
glass tubes--took five of the six and a half days it took to 
manufacture the finished solar panels. We found that turning bare 
glass tubes into functional solar cells in the United States 
constituted making a product with a new name, character, and use 
such that a substantial transformation had occurred.

[[Page 57200]]

    Here, Hanwha's assembly processes fall short of those described 
in H095409. For one, Hanwha's assembly processes take less than a 
day, whereas those in H095409 took more than six. Moreover, although 
Hanwha conducts research and development in Korea and Poland, it is 
focused on the manufacturing process, not on product design and 
development.
    In the scenario where Malaysian solar cells are used, almost 
none of the parts in the finished panels come from either Korea or 
Poland, the two countries where the panels are assembled. Unlike 
H095409, which involved a 43% cost content of the country of 
assembly, here, where Malaysian solar cells are used, the cost 
content is at most 8.6% Korean for the panels assembled in Korea and 
0% Polish for the panels assembled in Poland. Most importantly, 
however, the solar cells themselves are produced in Malaysia. As 
noted above, the complex manufacturing process of the solar cells 
themselves was key to our finding that a substantial transformation 
had occurred in H095409. Turning glass tubes into functioning solar 
cells resulted in a product with a new name, character, and use. 
Here, assembling solar cells into finished solar panels does not. 
Rather, we find that the solar cells impart the essential character 
of the solar panels. Therefore, where Malaysian solar cells are 
used, the country of origin for government-procurement purposes is 
Malaysia.
    Similarly, in the scenario where Korean solar cells are used, 
the country of origin for government-procurement purposes is Korea.

HOLDING:

    Based on the facts of this case, the solar panels' country of 
origin for U.S. Government procurement is Malaysia when Malaysian 
solar cells are used and Korea when Korean solar cells are used.

Sincerely,

Harold Singer,
Acting Executive Director, Regulations & Rulings Office of 
International Trade.
[FR Doc. 2015-24082 Filed 9-21-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P