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HQ 734654

June 29, 1992

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 734654 NL


District Director
U.S. Customs Service
40 South Gay Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

RE: Country of Origin Marking - Ivory Coast; Cote d'Ivoire; English Name.

Dear Sir:

This is in reply to your recent inquiry regarding the use of the name "Cote d'Ivoire" for marking the country of origin of articles imported into the U.S. from the Ivory Coast.


This office recently has been advised by the U.S. Department of State that in 1986, at the request of the Cote d'Ivoire government, the Department of State initiated an orderly transition to the use of the name "Cote d'Ivoire" in lieu of the English "Ivory Coast" in official publications of the Department of State and diplomatic correspondence. By a note dated May 19, 1992, the Embassy of Cote d'Ivoire informed the Department of State that under a 1987 presidential decree the name "Cote d'Ivoire" is not to be translated into English.


Is the name "Cote d'Ivoire" acceptable for purposes of country of origin 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 must be marked so as to indicate the English name of its country of origin to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S.

In determining the acceptability of a country name for purposes of country of origin marking, Customs relies to a considerable extent upon guidance from the Office of the Geographer, Department of State. That office's 1986 Notice on this question indicated that with the exception of State Department publications and diplomatic correspondence, government agencies could use either the English or French form at their discretion.

Customs is prepared to acknowledge that the name "Cote d'Ivoire", while obviously a name in the French language, has become sufficiently widely used and known in the U.S. to be acceptable for purposes of section 304 of the Tariff Act. Given the U.S. endorsement of the French name for diplomatic usage, and the undoubted use of the French name commercially in the U.S., it is not inconsistent with the requirements of section 304 to use "Cote d'Ivoire" to mark articles imported from the country also known as "Ivory Coast". It is our conclusion that by official usage and commercial usage the name "Cote d'Ivoire" has become an English name for purposes of country of origin marking under the Tariff Act.


Both "Cote d'Ivoire" and "Ivory Coast" are acceptable country of origin designations under 19 U.S.C. 1304.


John Durant
Director, Commercial

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