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HQ 557995

October 25, 1994

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:S 557995 DEC


Ms. Tracy Ann Ehme
A.W. Fenton Company, Incorporated
1157 Rarig Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43219-2357

RE: Country of origin marking for Footwarmers; 19 C.F.R. HRL 732900; HRL 733526; HRL 734369; C.S.D. 88-29

Dear Ms. Ehme:

This is in response to your letter dated May 12, 1994, in which you seek a ruling with respect to the appropriate country of origin marking for footwarmers which the Rocky Shoes & Boots Company intends to import into the United States.


Rocky Shoes & Boots Company plans to import footwarmers into the United States. The footwarmers are designed to be inserted into a shoe or boot in order to keep the foot warm and dry. The footwarmers will be packed in a clear plastic bag together with a paper insert that identifies the product as well as the name and address of Rocky Shoes & Boots Company. The company name and United States address on the sample paper insert is preceded by the words "manufactured by" and the sample that has been submitted has the mark "Made in the U.S.A." just beneath the name and address of the company. The importer plans to import identical merchandise from the Dominican Republic and to change the phrase at the bottom of the paper insert from "Made in the U.S.A." to "Made in the Dominican Republic." Except for this change, the paper insert will contain the same information.


Whether the country of origin marking of the imported footwarmers that has been proposed satisfies the requirements of Title 19, United States Code, section 1304 (19 U.S.C. 1304).


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 United States 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 United States the English name of the country of origin of the article. Part 134 of the Customs Regulations implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the United States must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

Title 19, United States Code, section 1304 (19 U.S.C. 1304) states that

The Secretary of the Treasury may by regulations-- . . .
(2) Require the addition of any other words or symbols which may be appropriate to prevent deception or mistake as to the origin of the article . . ..

Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46) provides that

In any case in which the words "United States," or "American," the letters "U.S.A.," any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manu- factured or produced, appear on an 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.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 732900, dated April 24, 1990, Customs determined that a product's label which contained the name and address of a United States company preceded by the words "manufactured by" was not in compliance with 19 U.S.C. 1304 because such words are confusing and misleading and cannot be corrected with a label containing an express foreign origin statement. This determination was based on a finding that the words "manufactured by" are commonly used to indicate origin. Customs finds that the words "manufactured by" constitute "other words of similar meaning" as "made in" or "product of." See also, C.S.D. 88-29 and HRL 734369, dated May 4, 1992. This situation results in two conflicting origin statements which must be resolved to indicate the product's country of origin to the ultimate purchaser.

Merely replacing the "Made in the U.S.A." that appears on the submitted sample paper insert with "Made in the Dominican Republic", as you have proposed, is unacceptable due to the continued presence on the insert of the words "Manufactured by" followed by the name and address of a United States company. The latter marking is inherently confusing and misleading to the ultimate purchaser. In this case, an alternative course of action, which would foreclose the possibility of confusion with respect to the product's country of origin, would be to replace the word "manufactured" with a word such as "imported" which is not indicative of origin.


The footwarmers which are sold in blister packs with a paper insert bearing the name and address of a United States company preceded by the words "Manufactured by" are not in compliance with 19 U.S.C. 1304. Such marking is misleading and confusing, regardless of the fact the statement "Made in the Dominican Republic" appears in close proximity to the name and address of the United States company.


John Durant

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