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NY 886636

June 8, 1993

MAR-2-39:S:N:N6:221 886636


Mr. Walter Warren
Panalpina, Inc.
34 Exchange Place
Harborside Financial Center
Jersey City, NJ 07311-3991

RE: The country of origin marking requirements of plastic identification tags from Taiwan.

Dear Mr. Warren :

In your letter dated May 26, 1993, on behalf of Bel-Art Products, you requested a country of origin marking ruling.

The identification tags will be imported into the United States and attached to a wire test tube holder of American origin. The holder with the attached tag will then be sold to laboratories. A sample tag and basket was provided with your letter. The tag is approximately 1 1/2 inches in length and 5/8 inch in width. It is marked "Scienceware" in raised letters. The wire holder is approximately 8 inches in length by 4 1/4 inches in width by 2 1/4 inches in depth. You have asked whether the tags must be marked with the country of origin.

Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States 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 an ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

The primary purpose of the country of origin marking statute 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, 302, C.A.D. 104 (1940).

The ultimate purchaser is the last person in the United States who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. In this instance, the ultimate purchaser is the person who receives the tags in the form in which they were imported.

The tags neither undergo a substantial transformation nor lose their identity when they are attached to the holders. Thus the laboratory, and not the company that attaches the tags to the holder, is the last to receive the tags in their condition as imported.

Since the laboratory will receive the tags in the condition in which they were imported, the laboratory is the ultimate purchaser. Therefore, the tags must be marked so that the ultimate purchaser may know the country of origin.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. 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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