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NY 894138

February 9, 1994

CLA-2-73:S:N:N3:113 894138


Mr. Andrew Goodman
International Manufacturing Corporation
P.O. Box 9106
1515 Washington Street
Braintree, MA 02184-9106

RE: The marking of sinks from Portugal

Dear Mr. Goodman:

In your letter dated January 18, 1994, you requested a country-of-origin marking ruling.

The merchandise is a stainless steel sink. You propose to mark the outer carton and the sink itself with a label. The label for the outer carton is about 10 inches long and 4 inches high. The label for the sink is about 4 inches long and 2 inches high. The labels state the model number, and read:

IMC Eurochef
Deluxe Stainless Steel Sinks
Luxury For the American Home
Manufactured in Portugal to the
Highest International Standards
10 Year Limited Warranty
International Manufacturing Corporation
Braintree, MA 02184

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. Friedlaender & 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 134.1(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. The definition then gives examples of who might be the ultimate purchaser if the imported article is used in manufacture, and if the imported article is sold at retail in its imported form. If the article is sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser.

Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46) require that when the name of any city or locality in the U.S., or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the name of the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appear on a imported article or its container, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or other words of similar meaning. Customs has ruled that in order to satisfy the close proximity requirement, the country of origin marking must appear on the same side(s) or surface(s) in which the name of the locality other than the country of origin appears. The purpose of 19 CFR 134.46 is to prevent the possibility of misleading or deceiving the ultimate purchaser as to the origin of the imported article.

In this case, the country-of-origin marking is in close proximity to the U.S. address and in larger type. While you did not indicate how the labels would be affixed, we assume it will be in a permanent manner that assures that the marking will reach the ultimate purchaser and in a conspicuous place. As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. In this case, a conspicuous place would be any unconcealed or inconcealable surface.
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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