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HQ 732793

December 20, 1989
MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 732793 NL


Samuel Huang
Glorious Corporation
11901 Goldring Road
Arcadia, California 91006

RE: Country of Origin Marking of Gloves

Dear Mr. Huang:

This is in response to your letter of October 5, 1989, in which you request a ruling regarding the country of origin marking requirements applicable to string knit gloves for industrial use.


Glorious Corporation imports gloves from Taiwan. The gloves are packed in polybags, each of which contains one dozen pairs. Each polybag is sealed by means of tying. The polybags are in turn packed in cartons in which the gloves are imported. Each polybag containing one dozen pairs of gloves also contains a cardboard paper insert stating: "TO BE SOLD BY DOZEN ONLY....MADE IN TAIWAN R.O.C." The gloves themselves have no country of origin marking.

You state that Glorious Corporation sells the imported gloves to industrial supply distributors, which in turn sell them to concerns such as meat cutters, vegetable growers and packers, and rice processors. You state that these gloves are not sold to any other entities. You state that the distributors do not unseal the polybags, and that their customers only do so when they are ready to distribute the gloves to their employees, which they do without charge. The gloves are for industrial use only, and generally are used only once, then disposed of. You state that the purchasers generally buy the gloves in orders of ten to twenty-five cartons, each carton containing forty dozen pairs of gloves.


May individual pairs of gloves packed and sold by the dozen be excepted from country of origin marking?


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 to 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. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134) implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

Among the exceptions from country of origin marking is 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D), also provided for in section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations. That section provides that articles for which the marking of their containers will reasonably indicate the country of origin of the articles may be excepted from country of origin marking. The necessary predicate to the application of this exception is that Customs must be satisfied that the article will reach the ultimate purchaser in the original, properly marked container in which the article was imported.

As you know, Customs has previously ruled that a plant or concern which purchases gloves for use by its employees is considered the ultimate purchaser, and that the gloves may be excepted from individual country of origin marking pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d). See, C.S.D. 89-89 (March 18, 1989); letter ruling 703319 (May 14, 1974); HQ 729800 (October 10, 1989). It is our opinion that the circumstances you describe are substantially the same, and that the gloves you import may be excepted from individual country of origin marking.

Before granting an exception from individual marking, the district director of Customs at the port of entry must be satisfied that the ultimate purchaser will receive the gloves in their original unopened marked polybag containers and that the gloves will be used only as indicated.


Industrial gloves imported in polybags which are marked to indicate the country of origin of their content by means of a
cardboard insert, and which are not opened until they are sold to employers which provide them free of charge to employees may be excepted from individual country of origin marking pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d).


Marvin M. Amernick
Chief, Value, Special Programs

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