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HQ 731859

June 2, 1989

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 731859 KG


Mel Noodelman
MagikWerks Publishing Inc.
1170 Sheppard Avenue West
Unit #18
Downsview, Ontario
Canada M3K 2A3

RE: Country of origin marking of books

Dear Mr. Noodelman:

This is in response to your letter of October 12, 1988, requesting a ruling on the country of origin of children's books pursuant to section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304). We regret the delay in responding to your inquiry.


MagikWerks Publishing of America Inc. is a U.S. subsidiary of MagikWerks Publishing Inc., a Canadian company. The companies will be marketing personalized children's books in both the U.S. and Canada. The book's illustrations are to be lithographed in Hong Kong, and then shipped in unassembled form to Canada. The text will be printed, and the books subsequently assembled and packaged in Canada.


Whether the country of origin of the books is Canada.

Whether the books can be imported into the U.S. free of duty.


Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article. Congressional intent in enacting 19 U.S.C. 1304 was "that the ultimate purchaser should be able to know by an inspection of the marking on the imported goods the country of which the goods is the product. The evident purpose is to mark the goods so that at the time of purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will." United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 297 at 302 (1940).

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)), defines country of origin as the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S. 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.

In this case, the determination of country of origin will depend on whether or not printing the text and assembling a book with illustrations constitutes substantial transformation. A substantial transformation occurs when articles lose their identity and become new articles having a new name, character or use. United States v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 at 270 (1940). The article imported into Canada is merely unassembled lithographed illustrations. The printing of text and assembly that occurs in Canada results in a name change; the unassembled illustrations lose their individual identity and become a book. While a change of name is not dispositive, satisfaction of the name criterion is evidence in favor of a finding of substantial transformation. Ferrostaal Metals Corporation v. United States, 664 F. Supp. 535 at 541(CIT 1987).

The article imported into Canada also undergoes a change in character. Loose illustrations have a different value than text combined with illustrations and bound together. Further, illustrations alone are evaluated by different criteria than a book that contains illustrations. For instance, illustrations could have great value because of their beauty while the value of books is usually related to their content. The only use of lithographed illustrations is visual while books are read and viewed.

Unassembled illustrations not bearing a text are classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States("HTSUS") in heading 4911 while books are classified in heading 4901. The difference in tariff classification is additional evidence of substantial transformation. Ferrostaal Metals Corporation, 664 F. Supp. at 541.
For the above reasons, the illustrations will be substantially transformed into a book in Canada. Therefore, the country of origin of these children's books is Canada.

You also asked which address of the publishing company to use on the title page. This question is not addressed in either 19 U.S.C. 1304 or 19 CFR Part 134. As discussed above, 19 U.S.C. 1304 directs that imported goods be marked with the country of origin so that U.S. consumers can make informed purchasing choices. The marking statute does not delve into which address a multi-national corporation must print on the product but rather, is concerned with what country that particular product was made in. However, if a U.S. address is printed on the title page, in accordance with section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), the language "Made in Canada," "Product of Canada," or other words of similar meaning must be placed in close proximity and comparable size to the U.S. address. The purpose of this regulation is to protect the U.S. consumer from deception, confusion or being mislead by the U.S. address appearing on an imported article.

The last issue concerns the rate of duty for the imported books. Printed books are provided for in chapter 49 of the HTSUS. It is not clear from the information submitted whether the children's books would be classified under heading 4901 or 4903. Nevertheless, both headings list a "free" rate of duty. Therefore, it appears from the information submitted that children's books entering the U.S. from Canada would be duty free.


Children's books printed and assembled in Canada which contain lithographed illustrations from Hong Kong are determined to be from Canada for country of origin marking purposes. If the books contain a U.S. address, 19 CFR 134.46 requires that language indicating the country of origin must be placed in close proximity to the U.S. address, in comparable size and conspicuously.

Marvin M. Amernick
Chief, Value, Special Programs

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