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HQ 734810

May 6, 1993
MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 734810 ER


Beth Ring, Esq.
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
505 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10022-1106

RE: Country of Origin Marking for In-Flight Magazine Folders; Disposable Containers; Ultimate Purchaser; 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D); 19 CFR 134.32(d); 19 CFR 134.26; 19 CFR 134.24.

Dear Ms. Ring:

This is in response to your letter dated September 14, 1992, on behalf of your client, Shorewood Packaging Corporation ("Shorewood"), in which you request a ruling concerning the country of origin marking requirements applicable to printed paper backs. A copy of this ruling is being sent to PBB Group which submitted an identical request, dated February 12, 1993, on behalf of their client, Shorewood Packaging of Scarborough, Ontario.


Shorewood Packaging Corporation manufactures printed paper backs in its Toronto plant in the following operation: solid bleached sulfate paperboard manufactured in either Canada or the U.S. will be made into the magazine cover backs by a "JOSH" machine in a single line process which prints, coats and die cuts the paperboard. The paper backs are shrink wrapped and imported on skids holding up to 20,000 backs. After importation, the paper backs will be sold through a distributor to Inflight Advertising, Inc. ("Inflight"). Inflight converts the paper backs into magazines covers by gluing a clear plastic front to the back and folding the cover. Inflight then inserts and glues a magazine inside the cover and sells the magazine to airlines for distribution to and return by passengers in-flight. The magazines covers are discarded with the magazines. Samples of the imported backs and finished covers were enclosed with the ruling request. The sample back measures approximately 8 x 11 inches. Both sides contain advertisements.


What are the country of origin marking requirements for the imported paper backs which are converted into magazine covers after importation?

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 are the product. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

In their condition as imported the printed paper backs are classifiable under subheading 4911.10.1080 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS") as other printed matter, trade or advertising material. After importation the paper backs are converted by Inflight into disposable covers for magazines. Inflight then fills these covers with magazines and sells them to airlines. The covers are eventually discarded with the magazines to which they are glued. These covers are sufficiently similar to those containers described in section 134.24(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.24(a)) as "containers ordinarily discarded after use" to be considered "disposable containers":

Disposable containers or holders subject to the provisions of this section are the usual ordinary types of containers or holders including cans, bottles, paper or polyethylene bags, paperboard boxes and similar containers or holders which are ordinarily discarded after the contents have been consumed.

We find that the magazine covers are the usual ordinary type of containers for magazines used by airlines. Although the covers are designed to be repeatedly used with the magazine, they are disposed of along with the magazine and not reused with another magazine. See, Holly Stores v. United States, 697 F.2d 1387, 1 Fed Cir. 16 (1982) (plastic hangars were found to be "not designed for or capable of, reuse" and each hangar, "in virtually every case, was associated only with one piece of clothing during its enitre useful life.")

Normally, the ultimate purchasers of disposable containers are the persons or firms who import them and fill or package them
with the products which they sell. Section 134.24(c), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.24(c)), provides:

When disposable containers or holders are imported by persons or firms who fill or package them with various products which they sell, these persons or firms are the
"ultimate purchasers" of these containers or holders and they may be excepted from individual marking pursuant to 19 U.S.C.
1304(a)(3)(D). The outside wrappings or packages containing the containers shall be clearly marked to indicate the country of origin.

Customs has ruled that this exception is applicable in situations where the person or firm who fills the disposable containers is not the importer, so long as Customs is satisfied that the outermost containers or wrappings are marked and will reach that person or firm unopened. See, HQ 733716 (June 6, 1991). In the instant case, we find that the ultimate purchaser of the paper backs is Inflight, the company which converts them into the disposable folder and fills it with the magazine. Accordingly, the paper backs are excepted from individual marking pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D) and sections 134.24(c) and 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.24(c) and 134.32(d)), so long as the outermost container of the bulk-shipped paper backs is properly marked with country of origin and Customs is satisfied that this container will reach the ultimate purchaser in this manner. In the event the merchandise is repacked into different containers before delivery to the ultimate purchaser, the notice and certification requirements of section 134.26, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.26) apply.


For purposes of country of origin marking, the ultimate purchaser of imported printed paper backs is the company which converts them into disposable containers and fills them with the merchandise for which they are intended. Accordingly, pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.24(c) and 134.32(d), the imported paper backs are excepted from individual country of origin marking so long as the District Director at the port of entry is satisfied that ultimate purchaser will receive them in the original, unopened master cartons which are properly marked
with country of origin. In the event the merchandise is repacked, the notice and certification requirements of 19 CFR 134.26 must be satisfied.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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