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HQ 734625

September 17, 1992
MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 734625 KR


Mr. James R. Neville
General Manager
Dura-Loc Roofing Systems Limited
P.O. Box 272
Courtland, Ontario
Canada N0J 1E0

RE: Country of origin marking of metal roof tiles; marking the container not the individual tile.

Dear Mr. Neville:

This is in response to your letter dated May 4, 1992, requesting a country of origin ruling on behalf of Dura-Loc Roofing Systems Limited, of Courtland, Ontario (hereinafter Dura-Loc), regarding metal roof tiles which you intend to import from Canada. A sample of the finished tiles was submitted for examination with a previous ruling request designated upon issuance as HQ 734451 (April 13, 1992). The instant ruling will apply only to the Dura- Loc roof tile described infra.


You state that Dura-Loc manufactures decorative roof tiles in Canada. It intends to import the roof tiles into the U.S. for sale to Dura-Loc USA. Dura-Loc USA will sell the tiles only to six specified installers: All Seasons Roofing, Anderson Roofing, Armstrong Roofing, California Cedar Roof Care, Curtis Roofing, and Homestar Enterprises, Inc. The roof tiles may be used on sloped roofs to vertical wall framing in retro-fit or new construction on residential, commercial, industrial and institutional structures. You state that the roof tiles will be imported on skids and shrink wrapped and banded in cardboard. Each skid will hold two piles of 150 tiles each. You state that Dura-Loc USA will sell the tiles only banded and wrapped to the six installers. You submitted a letter which is sent to each of the installers which states:

As has always been our policy, due to the exclusivity of our program, and the nature of our dealing with you, the end user of our product, please be advised that all shipments shall be in minimum (16 square) full pallet quantities.

You request a ruling allowing the country of origin marking to appear on the packaging (i.e., the banded cardboard or shrink wrap) instead of marking each individual tile.


Whether the roof tiles may be marked by banding them in cardboard and shrink wrapping them and placing the country of origin marking on the packaging.


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. The Court of International Trade stated in Koru North America v. United States, 701 F. Supp. 229, 12 CIT 1120 (CIT 1988), that "in ascertaining what constitutes the country of origin under the marking statute, a court must look at the sense in which the term is used in the statute, giving reference to the purpose of the particular legislation involved." The purpose of the marking statute is outlined in United States v. Frielaender & Co., 27 CCPA 297 at 302, C.A.D. 104 (1940), where the court stated that: "Congress intended 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."

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.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. This exception is applicable if Customs is satisfied that the marked container in which the article is imported will reach the ultimate purchaser in all reasonably foreseeable circumstances. Accordingly, if Customs is satisfied that the ultimate purchaser will receive the article in a marked container and that the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the roof tiles by viewing the country of origin marking on the container in which they are imported, the individual roof tiles would be excepted from marking under this provision. Therefore, it is necessary to ascertain who is the ultimate purchaser of the roof tiles.

Section 134.1(d), Customs Regulations, (19 CFR 134.1(d)), defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. In C.S.D. 89-47, December 8, 1988, Customs held that the construction company that installed the imported steel roofing structural components was the ultimate purchaser. Similarly, in this case, we find that the actual installer of the roof tiles is the ultimate purchaser.

The marking of the packaging in lieu of the tiles themselves is acceptable only if Customs is satisfied that the installers of the roof tiles will receive them in their marked containers. In HQ 731555, July 18, 1988, Customs ruled that metal straps with plastic shrink wrap used to secure refractory bricks were containers for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d). See also, HQ 734119, July 15, 1991. In this case we find that banding the roof tiles in cardboard or shrink wrapping the tiles constitutes containers for purposes of these provisions. Pursuant to the additional material submitted, Dura-Loc sells only to six installers of the tiles through exclusive contracts. The six installers receive the tiles in the shrink wrapped and banded form with the marking intact. Therefore, since the six installers are the ultimate purchasers and will receive the tiles in the form in which they were imported, as long as it is marked in a legible, permanent and conspicuous manner, marking the country of origin on the packaging is acceptable pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D); 19 CFR 134.32(d).


The ultimate purchasers of the roofing tiles are the actual installers of the tiles. The roofing tiles may be marked with the country of origin, Canada, on the shrink wrapped and banded skids in a legible, permanent and conspicuous manner.


John Durant, Director

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