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NY 893762

January 28, 1994

CLA-2-96:S:N:N3:113 893762


Mr. Putnam Fairbanks
World Note
P.O. Box 4397
Santa Barbara, CA 93140

RE: The country-of-origin marking of pens from Japan

Dear Mr. Putnam:

In your letter dated January 14, 1994, you requested a country-of-origin marking ruling.

The merchandise is a ball point pen from Japan. The pen is to be sold with a tag on it that has Japan as the country of origin. It is also to be sold from a display stand that says "La Infinita by Sakamoto, Japan." The pen itself has a case of wood and a clip which says "La Infinita" on it.

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 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 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 the product, if such marking should influence his will." United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27 CCPA 297 (1940).

Your proposed markings will not satisfy the marking regulations as cited. The regulations require that the article itself, or its container, be marked. The importer cannot guarantee that the pens will be sold from the display case, so such marking is not relevant. As to the tag, it is loose, packaged with the pen in a flimsy plastic bag. The marking on the tag is inconspicuously small. The bag may be easily opened and the tag removed. It may also be reversed in packaging, thus concealing the country of origin.

Since the clip bears the legend "La Infinita," there should be no objection to marking the pen in the same place with the word "Japan." Furthermore, since this legend is easily readable, we would consider a country of origin marking in the same size to be legible.
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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