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HQ 734616

October 30, 1992

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 734616 KR


Mr. P. F. Wegener
M.G. Maher & Company, Inc.
One Canal Place
Suite 2100
New Orleans, LA 70130

RE: Country of origin marking of metal gaskets; 19 CFR 134.46.

Dear P. F. Wegener:

This is in response to your letters dated April 13, 1992, and April 20, 1992, on behalf of Leader Gasket requesting a country of origin ruling on metal gaskets which Leader Gasket wishes to import from Czechoslovakia. Two samples were submitted for examination.


Leader Gasket plans to import metal gaskets from Czechoslovakia. Leader Gasket owns the production company in Czechoslovakia. You state that because of trade requirements in the U.S., the metal gaskets are required to be marked with the location of the U.S. company. Therefore, you state that you wish to mark the metal gaskets to read:


The two samples are marked with die stamped letters on the side of the outer ring. The marking on the sample does not include the country of origin, but only reads "LEADER GASKET BATON ROUGE. LA."


Whether the proposed marking on the metal gasket as described above satisfies the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304, and 19 CFR 134.46.


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.

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.

19 CFR 134.46, requires that when the "name of any city or locality in the U.S., or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the name of the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appear on a imported article or its container, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by 'Made in,' 'Product of,' or other words of similar meaning" (emphasis added). Customs has ruled that in order to satisfy the close proximity requirement, the country of origin marking must appear on the same side(s) or surface(s) in which the name of the locality other than the country of origin appears. HQ 708994 (April 24, 1978). The purpose of 19 CFR 134.46 is to prevent the possibility of misleading or deceiving the ultimate purchaser as to the origin of the imported article.

It is our opinion that Leader Gasket's proposal to refer to "Baton Rouge, USA" triggers the requirements of 19 CFR 134.46. In particular, it is necessary to ensure that the indication of the article's foreign origin is unambiguous. Thus, we cannot approve the language "LEADER GASKET BATON ROUGE USA MADE BY LEADER GASKET IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA". Instead, in accordance with 19 CFR 134.46, it is necessary to provide a clearer indication of origin in the format prescribed therein; i.e. "Made in Czechoslovakia" or "Product of Czechoslovakia" with no intervening language. Otherwise, the country of origin marking is not easily found and would not conform with the requirements of 19 CFR 134.46 and 19 CFR ?134.41.


The proposed country of origin marking for the imported metal gaskets must be modified as set forth above.


John Durant, Director

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