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HQ 734529

April 13, 1992

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 734529 ER


Ms. Jacqueline A. Bonace
Administrative Assistant
Blair Corporation
International Trade Division
220 Hickory Street
Warren, Pennsylvania 16366-0001

RE: Country of Origin Marking Requirements for Golf Balls Imported from Taiwan; Ultimate Purchaser; Containers; 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D); 19 CFR 134.32(d); HQ 730055; HQ 731853.

Dear Ms. Bonace:

This is in response to your letter of February 28, 1992, in which you request a country of origin marking ruling for golf balls from Taiwan.


In your letter and by telephone conversation on April 2, 1992, you stated that the golf balls are imported from Taiwan through the port in Cleveland, Ohio. The golf balls are imported in sets of twelve and are packaged in the following manner at the time of importation. The twelve balls are packed in four sleeves, three balls per sleeve, inside a remailer box. The remailer box is marked with a 2" x 3/4" high, pressure-sensitive sticker placed on the side of the box. This sticker is conspicuously and legibly printed with the words "Made in Taiwan". Blair sells directly to the retail customer. The golf balls are only sold in sets of twelve and in the original marked box in which they are imported. A sample of the twelve ball set was submitted.


Whether the golf balls which are imported in containers marked with the country of origin and sold by the importer in this manner directly to the retail consumer 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 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 origin of the article. Congressional intent in enacting 19 U.S.C. 1304 was 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 are the product. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

19 CFR 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. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In the instant case, the ultimate purchaser is the retail consumer.

Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), Customs excepts from individual marking those imported articles for which the marking of the containers will reasonably indicate the origin of the articles. This exception applies in instances where the merchandise is imported in a properly marked container and customs officials at the port of entry are satisfied that the ultimate purchaser will receive it in its original unopened and properly marked container. Accord, Legal Determination 79-0382 (July 17, 1979).

In HQ 730055 (January 6, 1987), Customs determined that golf balls were eligible for an exception to individual marking so long as the balls were sold in properly marked, sealed containers. If, however, the district director determined that the items would be sold or distributed individually or would otherwise reach the ultimate purchaser without the requisite marking, individual marking would be required. In HQ 731853 (December 26, 1989), HQ 730055 was followed and Customs ruled that the exception for individual marking of golf balls was appropriate, pursuant to 19 CFR 134.32(d), so long as the district director was satisfied that the golf balls were to be marked and sold in the manner indicated.

The facts in this case are almost identical to those in HQ 730055 and HQ 731853. Moreover, you indicate that you sell the golf balls directly to the ultimate purchasers only in the marked container of twelve. Accordingly, Customs is of the opinion that 19 CFR 134.32(d) is applicable and the golf balls are excepted from individual country of origin marking so long as the district director determines that the items will be sold only in this manner. A statement to this effect may be required.


Golf balls imported in containers marked with country of origin in a legible, conspicuous and permanent manner may be excepted from individual marking, pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d), provided the district director is satisfied they will be sold only in the manner described above and that the ultimate purchasers receive the merchandise in the original, unopened and marked containers.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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