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Loading Software Not Sufficient to Substantially Transform Printers and Scanners, CBP Rules

Friday, May 19, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a final determination concerning the country of origin of a visitor management system that may be offered to the U.S. government under an undesignated government procurement contract. Any party-at-interest may seek judicial review of this determination by June 19. 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 system at issue is typically used as a screening tool in elementary schools and consists of the following components: (1) a scanner comprising hardware made in China and software developed in the U.S. and loaded into the hardware in the U.S., (2) a printer designed and engineered in the U.S. and manufactured in China, (3) a barcode scanner manufactured in Taiwan with parts from Taiwan, (4) software developed in the U.S. and installed onto the system in the U.S., and (5) labels developed and manufactured in the U.S.

In determination HQ H277116, issued May 8, CBP concludes that the scanner and printer components are not substantially transformed in the U.S. by the loading of the software and thus remain products of China. CBP explains that the scanners and printers are capable of functioning as such prior to having the software installed onto them and that their physical appearance remains the same even after they are integrated into the system. CBP also finds that the labels are products of the U.S. and the barcode scanner is a product of Taiwan.

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