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HQ 558836

January 12, 1995

MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:S 558836 MLR


Ms. Tracy Ann Ehme
A.W. Fenton Inc.
P.O. Box 360614
Columbus, OH 43236-0614

RE: Country of origin marking of boot zipper; 19 CFR 134.46; U.S. location

Dear Ms. Ehme:

This is in reference to your letter of May 9, 1994, requesting a ruling on behalf of Rocky Shoes & Boots Co. ("Rocky"), regarding the country of origin marking of boot zippers produced in the Dominican Republic. A sample was submitted with your request. A separate classification ruling was issued on October 14, 1994.


The sample submitted consists of two zippers with slides, sewn to leather plackets, with velcro closures and two shoe laces. Each zipper placket measures approximately 7 1/2 inches in length and 2 1/4 inches in width. There are eight eyelets spaced along the sides of the plackets to accommodate the shoe laces.

It is stated that the merchandise will be packed in a plastic bag for retail sale. The sample submitted has a paper card closure at the top which identifies the importer, Rocky Shoes & Boots, Nelsonville, Ohio 45764. It is marked "Made in the U.S.A." to the left of the Rocky logo. Rocky proposes to replace the marking on the cardboard header "Made in the U.S.A." with "Made in the Dominican Republic", in the same size and style as the words "Nelsonville, Ohio 45764." Alternatively, Rocky proposes to place the words "Made in the Dominican Republic" on the line above the words "Nelsonville, Ohio 45764", in the same style and size print.


Whether the proposed placement of the marking "Made in the Dominican Republic" satisfies the special marking requirements of section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46).


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 imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article 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. Congressional intent in enacting 19 U.S.C. 1304 was "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." United States v. Friedlaender & Co. Inc., 27 CCPA 297, 302, C.A.D. 104 (1940).

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. For purposes of this ruling, it is presumed that the zipper will remain in its plastic bag, with the header intact, when sold at retail.

Customs has recognized that the presence of a geographic location other than the country in which the article was produced on an imported article or its container may mislead the ultimate purchaser as to the true country of origin. Therefore, in cases where the name of a location 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 appears on an imported article or its container, 19 CFR 134.46 provides that 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. Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 708994 dated April 24, 1978. The purpose of this section is to prevent the possibility of misleading or deceiving the ultimate purchaser as to the actual origin of the imported good.

In this case, "Nelsonville, Ohio 45764" is the name of a locality in the U.S.; therefore, the special marking requirements of 19 CFR 134.46 are triggered. Since the country of origin marking "Made in the Dominican Republic" will appear on the same side of the paper card closure, and will be printed in letters of the same size and style as the U.S. location, we find that both of the proposed markings will satisfy the requirements of 19 CFR 134.46.


On the basis of the information and sample submitted, we find that both of the proposed markings placed on the same side of the paper card closure as the U.S. location, in the same size letters and style, will satisfy the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time the goods are entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


John Durant, Director

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