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NY 896406

April 6, 1994

MAR-2-05:S:N:N3:115 896406


Mr. O.M. Svacina
Gedore Tools S.A. (PTY) Ltd.
103 Shepstone Rd.
New Germany 3610 -South Africa

RE: The country of origin marking requirements for automotive handtools from South Africa.

Dear Mr. Svacina:

In your letter dated March 14, 1994, you requested a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements for automotive handtools.

Your query, noting catalogue SA92, included a ruling request on a vast range of handtools including spanners, ratchets, socket sets, combination sets with pliers and sockets, wrenches, levers, screwdrivers, hammers, tool boxes, etc.

Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304) provides in general that any article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States must be marked conspicuously, indelibly, legibly and as permanently as the nature of the article will permit in such manner as to indicate the country of origin to the ultimate purchaser in the United States.

All of your individual tools must be marked as described above. In the case of pliers there is a special Customs Regulation that reads:

Section 134.43 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.43) provides methods of marking specific articles. Articles of a class or kind listed below shall be marked legibly and conspicuously by die stamping, cast-in-the-mold lettering, etching (acid or electrolytic), engraving, or by means of metal plates which bear the prescribed marking and which are securely attached to the article in a conspicuous place by welding, screws, or rivets: knives, forks, steels, cleavers, clippers, shears, scissors, safety razors, blades for safety razors, surgical instruments, pliers, nippers and
hinged hand tools for holding and splicing wire, vacuum containers, and parts of the above articles.

Section 134.46 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46) provides that in any case where the words "U.S.," "American," or any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the U.S., or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appear on any imported article or its container, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters or name, and at least in a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or other words of similar meaning.

In all instances and especially noting the tool boxes and tool sets, the above regulation applies. Your literature depicts some of these items "open" and not viewable.

In the tool boxes and tool sets which are sealed, only the tool box itself must be marked. The only exception would be to any pliers which would also have to be marked as explained above in Section 134.46.

The basic tool kits, styles 506 and 510, appear to be in an unsealed container. As such, each item must be marked as explained in Section 304 above.

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


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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