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China Processing Operations Confer Origin for Stimulant Laxative, CBP Says

Monday, March 23, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a final determination (HQ H253443) concerning the country of origin of certain oral solution products for cleansing the colon that may be offered to the U.S. government under an undesignated government procurement contract. This determination was issued March 13 and any party-at-interest may seek judicial review of it by April 20. 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.

The item at issue is a dual-acting osmotic and stimulant laxative bowel preparation for a colonoscopy in adults. It is imported in packets containing one dose, to which a dosing cup is added in the U.S. To produce this item, sodium picosulfate (manufactured in country A), magnesium oxide (manufactured in country B), anhydrous citric acid (manufactured in country C) and three inactive ingredients (sourced from countries C and D) are sent to China in powder form or in fine particles. The manufacturing process in China consists of sieving, wet mixing the sodium picosulfate to form granules, mixing magnesium oxide and citric acid into a granule formulation, product flavoring, and final blending.

Although the petitioner claimed that the processing in China does not result in a change in the medicinal use of the finished product, CBP concludes that the combination of sodium picosulfate and magnesium oxide results in a more stimulative laxative effect. Because these substances are combined in China, a substantial transformation occurs in that country, and the country of origin of the finished product for both government procurement and marking purposes is China.

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