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HQ 733700

December 28, 1990

MAR-2-05 CO:R:V:C 733700 RSD


Mr. Beejay Lee, President
B&J Glove MFG Co.
18520 S. Van Ness Avenue
Torrance, California 90504

RE: Country of origin marking for cotton or polyester-cotton knitted gloves; 19 CFR 12.130(c)

Dear Mr. Lee:

This is in response to your letter of July 23, 1990, requesting a binding ruling regarding the country of origin marking requirements for knitted gloves made out of cotton or polyester-cotton blend yarn.


B&J Glove Mfg Co., manufactures string-net knitted gloves in California using cotton or polyester-cotton blend yarn. The gloves are then sent to Mexico where a rubber band is assembled to the top of the gloves by an overlock stitching operation to create an elastic fitting around the wrist portion. The gloves are then packaged and shipped back to the U.S. Gloves are packed together and sold to wholesalers by the dozen. They are not sold by retailers. The gloves are chiefly used in fields like electronic assembly, fishing, automobile assembly, etc. You indicate that "99% of work" in making the gloves is done in the U.S. You also point out that the cost of putting a label on the gloves would greatly increase the cost of producing the gloves, and that the market is very sensitive to small price changes. Finally, you contend that many of your competitors who import gloves into the U.S. do not mark the gloves with the country of origin.


What are the country of origin marking requirements for knitted gloves which are sent to Mexico for the attachment of rubber bands by an overlock stitching operation and returned to the U.S.?


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. 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. 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 is the product. The evident purpose is to mark the goods so that at the time of purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will." United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 297 at 302 (1940).

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

Because the article in question is a textile product, it is governed by section 12.130, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130), which sets forth the principles for making country of origin determinations for textile and textile products subject to section 204 of the Agricultural Act of 1956 as amended (7 U.S.C. 1854) ("section 204"). Section 12.130 provides that generally the country of origin of a textile product is that foreign territory, country or insular possession where the article last underwent a substantial transformation. However, there is an exception to the general rule set forth in section 12.130(c), which provides that U.S. textile articles that are advanced in value or improved in condition, or assembled in a foreign country are considered to be products of that foreign country.

The attachment of the rubber bands in Mexico to create an elastic fitting around the wrist portion advances the gloves in value and improves them in condition and thus renders them products of Mexico. Accordingly, the gloves must be marked with country name "Mexico." The country of origin marking must be legible, conspicuous and permanent.

With respect to your claim that it would be prohibitively expensive to put a label on the gloves, an article may be excepted from country of origin marking based on 19 CFR 134.32(c), if the articles cannot be marked prior to shipment to the U.S. except at an expense economically prohibitive of its importation. However, you have not provided any evidence on the cost figures for producing the gloves or the cost for marking them. Accordingly, in the absence of any basis upon which to make a finding, the gloves cannot be excepted from country of origin marking because it would be too expensive to mark them.

There are other exceptions from marking which may apply to the imported gloves. For example, articles for which the marking of the container will reasonably indicate the origin of the articles are excepted from marking. This exception would apply if the gloves are imported and sold to ultimate purchasers only in a container which is marked to indicate the country of origin. Enclosed is a copy of section 134.32, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32), which sets forth this and the other exceptions from marking. If you believe that any of these exceptions apply, you may inquire again furnishing any necessary supporting information.

Finally, if you are aware of any specific information regarding other imported gloves which are not marked with the country of origin, please bring this to the attention of any Customs office.


Pursuant to 19 CFR 12.130(c), U.S. made gloves which are advanced in value or improved in condition in Mexico by the attachment of a rubber band to create an elastic fitting around the wrist portion must be marked to indicate that the they are a product of Mexico. No evidence has been presented to show that the cost of marking the gloves with the country of origin would be economically prohibitive.


John Durant, Director

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