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NY 899410

July 1, 1994

MAR-2-05:S:N:N3:115 899410


Mr. Richard Rosenberg
Riro Company
P.O. Box 275
Lincolnville Center, ME 04850

RE: The country of origin marking requirements for plaques and door knockers from India.

Dear Mr. Rosenberg:

In your letter dated May 5, 1994, received by this office June 22, 1994, you requested a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements for plain brass plaques and brass door knockers.

You intend to import plain brass plaques from India, engrave them after importation, fill them with enamel or in some similar manner and then "custom personalize" each plaque as desired by the ultimate purchaser. You also claim that the imported part is only a small percentage dollar wise of the wholesale selling price of the plaque. You also intend to import and use in a similar fashion --- brass door knockers and wish a marking ruling and waiver for both products.

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.

An ultimate purchaser is defined in Section 134.1 of the Customs Regulations, as "the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported". The regulation further provides that if the imported article will be used in manufacture, the manufacturer may be the ultimate purchaser if he subjects the article to a process which results in a substantial transformation.

Section 134.35, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.35), implementing the principle of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98), provides that an article used in the U.S. in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character, or use differing from that of the imported article will be considered substantially transformed, and therefore the manufacturer or processor in the U.S. who converts or combines the imported article will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the imported article within the contemplation of 19 U.S.C. 1304(a). Accordingly, the article shall be excepted from marking. However, in accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1304(b) and 134.22 Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.22), the outermost container of the imported article shall be marked to indicate the country of origin of the article. These principles and regulations apply to your brass door plaques. In the case of the brass door knockers, they are not substantially transformed as a result of the U.S processing, and therefore must be marked with the country of origin "India" when imported. The processes described for the door knockers are finishing processes only, and do not change the name, character or use of the door knocker.

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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