United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1992 HQ Rulings > HQ 0556320 - HQ 0734154 > HQ 0734140

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 734140

September 12, 1991

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 734140 NL


District Director
U.S. Customs Service
P.O. Box 3130
Laredo, TX 78044-3130

RE: Country of Origin Marking - Toner and Cartridges for Copying Machines.

Dear Sir:

This is in response to the request for internal advice dated April 25, 1991, forwarded by your office on behalf of freight forwarder A.X. Soto and its client, Gestener Corporation.


Gestener imports toner in cartridges from Mexico. The cartridges are assembled in Mexico from U.S. components and then filled (in Mexico) with toner from Japan. As imported, the unit is packed in individual cardboard containers for retail distribution which at present are marked, "Contents Made in Japan/Packaged in Mexico". The inner and outer cartons are marked in the same fashion. The freight forwarder asserts that this marking is acceptable because the article being sold is for practical purposes the toner and not the cartridge.

The responsible Import Specialist in a memorandum dated March 27, 1991, disagreed with the importer's position, finding that the cartridge must be marked as a product of Mexico pursuant to 19 CFR 10.22, and that "Packaged in Mexico" does not indicate the Mexican origin of the cartridge. The import specialist further found that the cartridge is subject to marking as a separate article, such that the container holding the filled cartridge should be marked, "Contents (or Toner) Made in Japan; Cartridge Made in (or Assembled in) Mexico".


How should the cartridge filled with toner be marked upon importation into the U.S.?


Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article 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 of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

Section 10.22, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.22), provides that articles assembled abroad from U.S.-origin components and eligible for the exemption from duty provided under subheading 9802.00.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), are considered products of the country of assembly for purposes of the country of origin marking requirements. In this instance the toner cartridge assembled in Mexico from U.S.-origin components is required, pursuant to 19 CFR 10.22, to be marked as a product of Mexico. The current designation, "Packaged in Mexico", is insufficient for for this purpose, as it would be understood as referring to to the toner, and not as indicating the country of origin of the cartridge. To comply with the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304, 19 CFR Part 134, and 19 CFR 10.22, the origin of the cartridge must be indicated by the words, "Made In", "Product Of", "Assembled In", or words to similar effect. Accordingly, we agree with the position of the import specialist that acceptable marking for the toner in its cartridge (as marked on its cardboard package, would be, "Contents (or Toner) Made in Japan/ Cartridge Made in (or Assembled in) Mexico".


Acceptable country of origin marking for the Japanese toner imported in cartridges assembled in Mexico is as set forth above.


John Durant
Director, Commercial

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: