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NY 898212

June 7, 1994

CLA-2-39:S:N:N6:221 898212


Mr. John A. Hill
Berry, Dunbar, Daniel, O'Connor & Jordan
1200 Main Street, Eighth Floor
P.O. Box 11645, Capitol Station
Columbia, South Carolina 29211-1645

RE: The country of origin marking of polypropylene adhesive tape from Taiwan.

Dear Mr. Hill:

In your letter dated May 16, 1994, on behalf of Asiachem Corporation, you requested a country of origin marking ruling.

Asiachem Corporation imports polypropylene adhesive tape from Taiwan. The tape is imported in jumbo rolls, in widths of 1.58 meters and lengths ranging from 3,000 to 5,300 meters. After importation, Asiachem will unwind the tape, cut it to specific widths and lengths, rewind the tape on cardboard cores, and package the tape in cellophane shrink wrap.

You have asked whether the processing that occurs in the United States substantially transforms the imported product to an extent such that the finished product in rolls of tape can be marked "Made in the U.S.A."

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.

By definition, only merchandise which is "of foreign origin" is subject to the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Products of the United States are not subject to country of origin marking
requirements. In this instance, we must determine if the added work in the United States effects a substantial transformation of the merchandise such that the United States could be considered the country of origin.

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. Cutting the self-adhesive tape to width and length does not result in a substantial transformation. The self-adhesive tape does not have a new name, character or use. The tape is merely prepared for sale. Because the tape remains a product of Taiwan, it must be marked with the country of origin.

You ask if it is necessary to mark the tape itself. If the tape is marked with the country of origin, it should be marked so that even when it is cut to width and length, the marking appears legibly and conspicuously on the final product. This would require that the tape in jumbo rolls be marked in numerous pre-arranged locations. This is probably not feasible. We suggest that you mark the cartons in which the tape is imported, and that at the time of entry you certify that the new containers for the finished product will indicate that the country of origin is Taiwan. The Customs officials at the port of entry must be satisfied that the tape, when slit and repackaged, is marked with 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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