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HQ 734494

February 24, 1992

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 734494 ER


Mr. Gary Grewal
American Plastics
28056 Ziele Creek Drive
Hayward, CA 94542

RE: Country of Origin Marking of Zipper Sliders from Taiwan and Korea; Ultimate Purchaser; 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D); 19 CFR 134.32(d); 19 CFR 134.1(d); HQ 707708 (July 21, 1977).

Dear Mr. Grewal:

This is in response to your letter of January 21, 1992 in which you request a binding ruling regarding the country of origin marking requirements for zipper sliders from Taiwan and Korea.


American Plastics imports zipper sliders from Taiwan and Korea. In its imported condition the merchandise is packaged in bags of 500 pieces each and boxes of 5000 pieces each, both of which are marked to indicate the country of origin of the sliders. The merchandise is kept in stock at American Plastics until customers submit orders by telephone. American Plastics' customers consist of manufacturers who use the zipper sliders in the manufacture of apparel and outdoor products. American Plastics submitted signed statements from its customers identifying the products that are manufactured with the imported merchandise and certifying that the zipper sliders are not sold individually by the customers. The statements also assert that the customers are aware that the zipper sliders are imported. By telephone conversation on February 19, 1992, American Plastics stated that the sliders are sold and shipped from its premises directly to the manufacturers where they are incorporated into a variety of products including such things as backpacks, jackets and spa covers. There are no sales of less than a full bag or less than a full box. The sliders are shipped to the manufacturers from American Plastics in the original unopened bags and boxes which are marked with the country of origin, i.e., "Made in Taiwan" or "Made in Korea". All shipments are received by the manufacturers in the marked and unopened containers.


Whether the zipper sliders which are imported in containers marked with the country of origin and sold by the importer in this manner directly to manufacturers for incorporation into apparel and outdoor products are excepted from individual 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 into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country 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 to country of origin marking is 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D), also provided for in section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)). 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. However, for the exception to apply Customs must be satisfied that the articles will reach the "ultimate purchaser" in the original, properly marked containers in which the articles were imported. Section 134.1(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(d)), defines the "ultimate purchaser" as generally the last person in the United States who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported.

In order to determine whether this exception applies it is necessary to determine who is the ultimate purchaser of the zipper sliders. In HQ 707708 (July 21, 1977), Customs found that manufacturers who used imported zippers in the manufacture of various articles of clothing were the ultimate purchasers of the zippers within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1304. In that case, Customs ruled that so long as the zippers reached the manufacturers in properly marked cartons, the individual zippers could be exempted from country of origin marking pursuant to 19

Similarly, in the instant case, the manufacturers who purchase the zipper sliders from American Plastics for manufacture into various articles of clothing and outdoor products are the "ultimate purchasers" of the imported merchandise within the meaning of the marking statute. Based on the evidence submitted, Customs is satisfied that the ultimate purchasers of the imported merchandise use it in the manufacture of apparel and outdoor products and do not sell the zipper sliders individually. Accordingly, the zipper sliders may be excepted from individual country of origin marking as set forth below.


Zipper sliders 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), so long as they are imported in a properly marked container and Customs officials at the port of entry are satisfied that the zipper sliders will be used only in the manner described above and that the ultimate purchaser, the manufacturer, will receive the zipper sliders in their original unopened and properly marked container.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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