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HQ 732734

December 28, 1989

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 732734 KG


Claude Brosseau
A.N. Deringer, Inc.
30 West Service Road
Champlain, New York 12919-9703

RE: Country of origin marking of imported printed material

Dear Mr. Brosseau:

This is in response to your letter of April 12, 1989, requesting a country of origin ruling regarding imported printed material. We regret the delay in responding to your inquiry.


You use the phrase "Litho Canada" in Canada to identify the country of origin of printed materials. A sample containing the phrase "Litho Canada" was enclosed.


Whether the phrase "Litho Canada" on printed materials satisfies section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended.


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. The Court of International Trade stated in Koru North America v. United States, 701 F.Supp. 229, 12 CIT (CIT 1988), that: "In ascertaining what constitutes the country of origin under the marking statue, a court must look at the sense in which the term is used in the statute, giving reference to the purpose of the particular legislation involved. The purpose of the marking statute is outlined in United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27 CCPA 297, 302 C.A.D. 104 (1940), where the court stated that: "Congress intended 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."

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Country of origin is defined in 19 CFR 134.1(b) as the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S. The question presented in this case is whether the phrase "Litho Canada" indicates that the article was made in the named country, as required by 19 U.S.C. 1304.

The word "litho" is defined in the Random House College Dictionary as "to produce or copy by lithography." Lithography is the art or process of producing a figure or image on a flat, specially prepared stone or plate in such a way that it will absorb and print with special inks. The term "lithography" is not a commonly understood phrase and an ultimate purchaser could misunderstand that the phrase "Litho Canada" refers to where printed material was made. In HQ 712210 (March 20, 1980), Customs ruled that the marking "Handcrafted in Mexico" was acceptable for the purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304. However, the term "Handcrafted," which relates to where a product was made and the specific technique used to make the product, is a commonly understood term that an ordinary ultimate purchaser who does not have specialized knowledge would comprehend. Therefore, HQ 712210 is distinguishable. The phrase "Litho Canada" is not acceptable for country of origin marking purposes.

Customs would accept the word "Canada" standing alone as a country of origin marking if the requirements of 19 CFR Part 134 such as permanence, legibility and comparable size were met.

Further, we note that the size of the print used in the sample submitted is about 1/16". Section 134.41, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41), requires that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. A larger size print would facilitate reading the country of origin without strain.


The phrase "Litho Canada" to designate the country of origin for imported printed material is not acceptable for country of origin marking purposes.


Marvin M. Amernick
Chief, Value, Special Programs

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