Amcor Flexibles won a favorable ruling from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) concerning the country of origin of aluminum foil rolled in Germany. Faegre Drinker represented Amcor in the ruling request, which marks the first time that CBP has addressed the origin of aluminum foil.
Amcor’s aluminum foil is rolled to the desired thickness in Germany from Chinese-origin foilstock. Since the aluminum foil was produced through manufacturing steps in more than one country, Amcor requested a ruling from CBP on whether the Chinese material was substantially transformed in Germany.
Faegre Drinker argued that aluminum foil production, through rolling and annealing in Germany, is a thermo-mechanical process that results in a new product. Although the foil rolling and annealing processes do not affect the chemical composition of the metal, the microstructure of the material is significantly changed.
CBP agreed that the cold rolling reduction and recrystallization annealing processes alter the physical and mechanical characteristics of the foilstock. As a result, the Chinese-origin foilstock raw material used to produce the aluminum foil was changed into a different and significantly more expensive product. Therefore, for marking purposes, CBP determined the country of origin of the aluminum foil is Germany.