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HQ 734443

June 3, 1992

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 734443 NL


Mr. Richard Brancato
Vice President of Sales
Astra Microtonics Technology
708 Shady Retreat Road, Suite 1
Doylestown, PA 18901

RE: Country of Origin Marking - Encapsulated Integrated Circuits; Semiconductors; "IN" as Abbreviation for Indonesia; T.D. 75-187; 19 CFR 134.32(d).

Dear Mr. Brancato:

This is in response to your request for a ruling dated August 6, 1991, addressed to the National Import Specialist Division of Customs in New York. That office has forwarded your letter to Customs Headquarters for response, and has appended a memorandum (ref. 868690) discussing the points at issue.


Astra Micronics Technology (Astra) fabricates encapsulated integrated circuits in Indonesia. You have advised my staff that all of the imported devices are sold to entities in the U.S. which use them in the manufacture of electronic equipment. Several drawings and samples were submitted with your letter. You state that these devices are so small that marking them with their country of of origin is "difficult, at best". You request authorization to satisfy the country of origin marking requirements in one of two ways: 1) by marking the ejection pin of each device with the abbreviation "IN", for Indonesia; or 2) by marking the name "Indonesia on the shipping tubes in which the devices are imported into the United States.

The memorandum of the Chief National Import Specialist Branch 1, states that the abbreviation "IN" should not be accepted; that the devices are large enough to be marked with their country of origin; and requests review by Headquarters of T.D. 75-187, which implemented Customs policy with respect to the marking of semiconductor devices.


1. Is the abbreviation "IN" acceptable to designate Indonesia?

2. Under what circumstances would marking of the shipping tubes for the devices 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. must be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, permanently, and indelibly as the nature of the article will permit, in such a manner as to 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.

As provided at 19 CFR 134.45(b), abbreviations may be acceptable if they unmistakably indicate the name of a country. In this instance we cannot agree that the abbreviation "IN" unmistakably refers to Indonesia, and we agree with the Chief, National Import Specialist Branch 1, that "IN" may not be used to satisfy country of origin marking requirements.

That office found also that the encapsulated integrated circuits were sufficiently large to permit marking of their country of origin on the plastic encapsulation. We note that this conclusion was reached after examination only of the largest of the four devices for which a ruling was sought. In light of our finding below, that marking of the shipping tubes will satisfy the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304, we decline to rule whether the size of these articles precludes effective marking.

As determined in T.D. 75-187, if semiconductor devices are imported in containers that are legibly and conspicuously marked with their country of origin, and Customs officials at the port of entry are satisfied that the devices will reach the ultimate purchaser in the marked containers, the devices may be excepted from individual marking. In this case it appears that this requirement will be satisfied, in that you represent that the integrated circuits will be sold to manufacturers of electronic equipment, who are the ultimate purchasers of the devices, and the devices will be delivered to them in their shipping tubes. Accordingly, marking the shipping tubes will, in accordance with T.D. 75-187 and 19 CFR 134.32(d), satisfy the country of origin marking requirements.

Inasmuch as this was the sole issue raised by your request, we are declining the invitation of the Chief, National Import Specialist, Branch 1, to review for possible modification T.D. 75-187, whose other guidance concerns marking of containers of semiconductor devices from multiple countries of origin.


The abbreviation "IN" is unacceptable for purposes of marking encapsulated integrated circuits as products of Indonesia. Provided that Customs offficials at the port of entry are satisfied that the shipping tubes are properly marked, and that these are the containers in which the devices are delivered to their ultimate purchasers in the U.S., marking of the containers will be sufficient to comply with the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134.


John Durant
Director, Commercial

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