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HQ 732836

December 28, 1989

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 732836 NL


Al Sherman
Jack R. Huls & Co.
61 12th Street, P.O. Box 1599
Blaine, Washington 98230

RE: Country of Origin Marking of Dart Wallets

Dear Mr. Sherman:

This is in response to your letters of October 20, and December 14, 1989, in which you request a ruling that a leather wallet-style container for darts is not required to be marked with its country of origin.


Your client, Neat Things Importing, Inc., imports separately to the U.S. the elements of sets of darts. The dart shafts are imported from the United Kingdom, the dart protectors from Hong Kong, and the plastic and paper packaging from Hong Kong and/or Canada. A pocket-sized leather wallet which contains the darts is imported from China. The wallet has two snap closures and several inside sleeves to hold the darts and flechettes. The entire set is packaged in the U.S. for retail sale. A sample of the dart set as packaged was submitted for examination. The packaging consists of a back card with a molded clear plastic cover which displays the contents. The front of the card bears the words "Made in England". The back of the card discloses the name of the importer.

The wallet bears a small paper sticker label, approximately 1/3" in diameter, which reads "Made in China". You state that Customs officials are requiring that the wallet be marked with its country of origin by means of die stamping or by means of a sewn in label. It is your position that the dart wallet should not be required to be marked. You state that the wallet is low in value relative to its contents; that to the customer the most important item in the package is the darts; and that the wallet merely helps to protect the darts between use and is often discarded.


Is the dart wallet required to be separately marked with its country of origin? If so, what method of marking will 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. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

Upon examination of the dart wallet it is our opinion that the wallet is a substantial permanent container especially designed to hold the darts. The wallet obviously adds to the convenience and utility of the set, and confers considerable added attractiveness to the dart set. We do not view the wallet as a disposable container, but rather as a separate article in the nature of a musical instrument, jewelry, or gun case. In ruling 708844 AB (March 7, 1978), we ruled that a vinyl carrying case for a pocket calculator must be marked with its country of origin, and we see no significant difference here. It is our opinion that the dart wallet is a separate subtantial article of commerce which must be separately marked with its own country of origin.

It is further our opinion that section 134.14, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.14), applies here to require that the wallet be marked so that the name of the country of origin of the wallet will be clearly visible after the elements of the dart set are combined in their retail package. Further, 19 CFR 134.14 requires that the marking include, in addition to the name of the country of origin, words or symbols clearly showing that the origin indicated is that of the wallet only and not of the other articles with which it is combined in the dart set. This requirement would be satisfied by a marking such as "Wallet made in China".

While special provisions govern the method of marking the country of origin of certain articles, there are no special requirements affecting the dart wallet. Broadly, 19 U.S.C. 1304 requires that the marking be as legible, permanent and indelible as the nature of the article will permit. Section 134.44(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44(b)), approves the use of
paper sticker or pressure sensitive labels, provided they are "affixed in a conspicuous place and so securely that unless deliberately removed they will remain on the article while it is in storage or on display and until it is delivered to the ultimate purchaser." Upon examination of the submitted sample we are of the opinion that the label satisfies this requirement.


A leather dart wallet imported into the U.S. to be packaged and sold as part of a dart set must be separately marked with its own country of origin pursuant to 19 CFR 134.14. Such marking must clearly refer to the wallet alone, by means of such words as, "wallet made in China", or words to similar effect. Pursuant to 19 CFR 134.44 the paper label affixed to the wallet is an acceptable method of marking the wallet's country of origin. Since the dart set wallet will be repacked after importation, the importer must follow the certification procedures set forth in 19 CFR 134.26 whereby the importer certifies that the marking will remain visible after repacking or that he will mark the new package conspicuously.


Marvin M. Amernick
Chief, Value, Special Programs

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