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HQ 732752

January 3, 1990

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 732752 KG


Paula Pirtle
Procorp, Inc.
283 Pleasant Street
Framingham, MA 01701

RE: Country of origin marking of imported molded model dinosaurs

Dear Ms. Pirtle:

This is in response to your letter of September 21, 1989, requesting a country of origin ruling regarding imported molded model dinosaurs. Sample model dinosaurs made in Taiwan were submitted for examination.


The imported small green and pink colored model dinosaurs, which are approximately 2 1/2 inches long, are molded in a semi transparent glow in dark material. The country of origin marking is on the tail, in the same color as the dinosaur, with lettering about 1/8 inch high, which requires extremely close examination to locate and read.


Whether the marking described above satisfies 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. 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 statute, 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. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), requires that the ultimate purchaser be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

In a very similar case, Customs ruled in HQ 731457 (June 30, 1988), that blind markings on small toy items were not conspicuous and therefore, did not satisfy 19 CFR 134.41(b). Blind marking are markings of the same color as the article which are raised or sunk. The marking in this case, like HQ 731457, involves a small item with a blind marking in small lettering which is extremely difficult to locate and very difficult to read. Based on an examination of the samples and HQ 731457, we find that the dinosaurs are not conspicuously marked.

Perhaps, if the country of origin marking was done in a contrasting color, in larger size lettering or in a more prominent location on the item, the ultimate purchaser may be able to find the mark easily and read it without strain and the imported article would satisfy the country of origin marking requirements. However, without seeing a sample, we cannot issue a binding ruling.


The blind marking on the small model dinosaur of transparent material described above is not conspicuous and does not satisfy the country of origin marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR 134.41(b).


Marvin M. Amernick
Chief, Value, Special Programs

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