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HQ 732412

August 29, 1989

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 732412 KG


Harold I. Loring
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th Street
New York, New York 10017

RE: Country of origin marking of jeans

Dear Mr. Loring:

This is in response to your letter of May 16, 1989, requesting a country of origin ruling for frost finish jeans.


Your client imports frost finish jeans from Peru. The sample pair submitted for examination contain the word "Kansas" on a fabric label attached to the rear right pocket, snaps on both rear pockets contain the words "Kansas Jean", a leather label with the words "Kansas" and "Kansas Jeans Navy Wear" is attached to the front right pocket and the front button is decorated with a stylized "K" and the word "J. Kansas". The jeans are marked "Made in Peru" on a fabric label sewn to the waistband. This label also contains the size of the jeans as well as the fiber content and care instructions.

The jeans also have a hang tag attached which contains the word "Kansas" in large lettering and "Made in Peru" in smaller lettering. A paper label attached to the bottom of a pant leg contains the word "KANSAS" in large bold lettering and the words "MADE IN PERU" on the side of the label in much smaller lettering.

Your client has filed an application for a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for the phrase "Kansas Jeans, Incorporated".


Whether the markings on the imported jeans described above satisfy the country of origin marking requirements.


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 Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), requires that when the name of any city or locality in the U.S., other than the name of the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appears on an imported article or its container, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters, or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in,""Product of," or other words of similar meaning. The purpose of this section is to prevent the possibility of misleading or deceiving the ultimate purchaser of the actual origin of the imported goods.

However, section 134.47, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.47), provides that when as part of a trademark or trade name or as part of a souvenir marking, the name of a location in the U.S. appear, the article shall be legibly, conspicuously, and permanently marked to indicate the name of the country of origin of the article preceded by words "Made in," "Product of," or other similar words, in close proximity or in some other conspicuous location.

You state that your client has filed an application for a trademark but has not yet completed the process necessary for trademark registration. In another ruling, HQ 722064 (August 3, 1983), Customs ruled that 19 CFR 134.47 would apply only if the word "Paris" was part of a registered trade name. In this instance, the phrase "Kansas Jean" is not currently part of a registered trademark. Therefore, 19 CFR 134.47 is inapplicable.

Based on a ruling dated August 18, 1971, published in abstract form as T.D. 71-264(3), Customs held that trousers, slacks, jeans, and similar wearing apparel shall be marked to indicate the country of origin by means of a permanent label affixed in a conspicuous location on the garments, such as the inside of the waistband.

Examination of the sample submitted clearly reveals that the subject jeans are properly marked in accordance with T.D. 71- 264(3). The issue, therefore, is whether or not the jeans, marked as described above, satisfy 19 CFR 134.46. Customs recently ruled in HQ 731614 (June 28, 1989), on a very similar case involving imported jeans containing a label with the words "LONDON SLIM" and the country of origin marking, "MADE IN JAPAN", appearing just below in smaller print. Based on an examination of the label, it was held that the country of origin marking was sufficiently conspicuous because it was prominently displayed. The typical consumer would readily notice the marking in that location and the lettering was bold and of sufficient size to be conspicuous so that the ultimate purchaser would be able to read the marking easily and without strain as provided in 19 CFR 134.41.

As was noted in that ruling, Customs has often distinguished those special cases in which the circumstances were such that reference to a place other than the country of origin on an imported article would not necessarily confuse the ultimate purchaser as to the true country of origin. For example, in HQ 723604 (November 3, 1983), and HQ 712013 ( January 16, 1980), Customs held that use of the abbreviation "USA" displayed prominently on imported women's wearing apparel did not trigger the requirements of 19 CFR 134.46 because such marking was used as a symbol or decoration and would not reasonably be construed as indicating the country of origin of the article on which it appeared. Likewise, in C.S.D. 89-73 (February 2, 1989), Customs held that an imported man's pullover shirt which prominently displayed the words "Christian Dior, 30 Avenue Montaigne, Paris 75008" across the back, did not invoke the application of 19 CFR 134.46 because the true country of origin of the article was indicated conspicuously on a label inside the neckband. In HQ 731394 (December 8, 1988), Customs found that the word "VERMONT" on an imported wall planner would not confuse the ultimate purchaser as to the true country of origin of the wall planner and that, therefore, the provisions of 19 CFR 134.46 did not apply.

Similarly, in this case we find that the country of origin marking is conspicuous due to the fact that it appears on the sewn-in label with the size, fiber content, and care instructions as well as on two hang tags, and is in lettering of sufficient size and boldness to be easily found and read. Furthermore, it is our opinion that the placement of the various forms of the word "Kansas" on different parts of the jeans are built into the garments' design. They would not mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser or in anyway connote that "Kansas" is the place of manufacture.


Based on all of the factors in this case and after careful examination of the sample, we find that the imported jeans, marked as described above, satisfy 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134.


Marvin M. Amernick
Chief, Value, Special Programs

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