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NY 800129

August 9, 1994

MAR-2-39:S:N:N6:221 800129


Mr. Stephen J. Leahy
Leahy & Ward
63 Commercial Wharf
Boston, Massachusetts 02110

RE: The country of origin marking of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film.

Dear Mr. Leahy:

In your letter of June 23, 1993, received in this office on July 19, 1994, on behalf of Arkwright, Inc., you requested a country of origin marking ruling.

Arkwright Inc. imports rolls of PET film that will be converted into transparency film. The film, in its imported condition, measures 38, 44 or 48 inches in width. Arkwright cuts the film to the desired width, after which a paper backing is attached to the film. The film is then cut to a specific length, creating the finished transparency film, which is then packaged 50 sheets to a box. The paper backing is readily removable, and the transparency film is ready for use. A sample of the final product was submitted with your ruling.

You have asked whether the processing that occurs in the United States substantially transforms the imported product to an extent such that Arkwright can be considered the ultimate purchaser for marking purposes.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its 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. Section 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. 19 CFR 134.1(d)(1) states that if an imported article will be used in manufacture, the manufacturer may be the ultimate purchaser if he subjects the imported article to a process which results in a substantial transformation of the article. The case of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98) (1940), provides that an article used in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article will be considered substantially transformed and that the manufacturer or processor will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the constituent materials. Other factors to be considered include the complexity and cost of the processing, and whether or not the processing changed the essence of the product. See Uniroyal Inc. v. United States, 3 C.I.T. 220, 542 F. Supp. 1026 (1982), affirmed 702 F2d 1022 (Fed Cir. 1983). If the imported product has been substantially transformed, it is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked.

In this instance, Arkwright cuts the film to width and length before packaging the film. The processing performed in the United States does not change the essence of the film, nor is the complexity of the operations such to effect a substantial transformation. Because the PET film has not been substantially transformed, Arkwright is not considered the ultimate purchaser. Therefore, the PET film, or its container, must be marked with the country of origin at the time of importation. In addition, the finished transparency film, or its container, must be marked so that the ultimate purchaser, that is, the user of the transparencies, can know the country of origin.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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