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HQ 733174

May 1, 1990

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 733174 KG


Luis Antonio Ruiz
Makser, S.A.
Muelle Tomas Olabarri, 5-30 dcha
Las Arenas/ Getxo 48930

RE: Country of origin marking of imported catalogs

Dear Mr. Ruiz:

This is in response to your letter of May 30, 1989, requesting a country of origin ruling regarding imported catalogs. We regret the delay in responding to your inquiry.


You plan to sell golf products in the U.S. A firm in Portugal will print catalogs for these products. No other details were given about the production or assembly of the catalogs.


What are the country of origin marking requirements for imported catalogs?


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 at 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. Both the statute and the regulations require that imported articles be marked with their country of origin. Section 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)), defines country of origin as the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the country of origin within the meaning of this part.

A substantial transformation occurs when articles lose their identity and become new articles having a new name, character or use. United States v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 at 270 (1940), National Juice Products Association v. United States, 10 CIT 48, 628 F.Supp. 978 (CIT 1986), Koru North America v. United States, 12 CIT ___, 701 F.Supp. 229 (CIT 1988). Customs held in HQ 731859 (June 2, 1989), that the printing and assembly of a book is a substantial transformation. If the catalogs are printed and assembled in Portugal, they would be considered products of Portugal and therefore, must be marked legibly, conspicuously and permanently to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S. that the country of origin is Portugal.


Imported catalogs must be marked to indicate their country of origin. If the catalogs are printed and assembled in Portugal, Portugal would be considered the country of origin.


Marvin M. Amernick
Chief, Value, Special Programs

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