In ruling NY N305378, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) determined the country of origin of an all-in-one computer. The item in question is identified as the AIO Touch Screen (AIO), and is described as a touch screen computing device for use in commercial environments for point of sale machines and similar applications. The AIO consists of a motherboard, a LCD display module, various printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs) such as a touch controller, two USB controllers, a keypad controller, an antenna, speaker, power supply, camera module and various cables and hardware.
The assembly of the AIO involves mounting the motherboard and control PCBAs into the enclosure, attaching the cabling, assembling the enclosure and wireless antenna module, and mounting the LCD module. The AIO then receives its firmware and operating system, is tested, and packaged for shipment. All of the parts that make up the AIO are all sourced from China and the assembly of the AIO is conducted in Taiwan.
The “country of origin” is defined in 19 CFR 134.1(b), in pertinent part, 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’ within the meaning of this part.”
CBP notes that the finished machine consists of a number of discrete subassemblies that are previously manufactured in China. CBP believes the assembly operations performed in Taiwan, which consists of attaching, fastening, and taping and/or gluing, is not complex. The AIO is produced by joining these subassemblies together to form a touch screen computing device, but the Chinese subassemblies do not undergo a physical change as a result.
CBP determined that the assembly process performed in Taiwan does not result in a substantial transformation of the Chinese goods. The components themselves are not transformed in Taiwan into a new and different article of commerce with a name, character, and use distinct from the articles exported from China. Therefore, the AIO, is considered a product of China for origin and marking purposes at time of importation into the U.S.