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NY 809049

April 26,1995

MAR-2-64:S:N:N8:346 809049


Mr. T. Bernard
Spaank, Inc.
P.O. Box 1563
Corona, CA 91718-1563

RE: Country of origin marking of a beachcomber-type sandal from Taiwan.

Dear Mr. Bernard:

This is in response to your letter dated February 12, 1995, but actually received by this office on April 3, 1995, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed use of a self adhering, 5/8 inch diameter circular paper label sticker is acceptable as country of origin marking for imported footwear. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

On a previous ruling, DD 807305, dated March 8, 1995, and issued by the District Director, Los Angeles California, you were provided with a binding classification ruling for a beachcomber sandal from Taiwan. In the response portion of that previous ruling letter, you were informed that your sample was not marked with the country of origin and if imported as is, the sandal will be considered not legally marked.

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.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

To comply with the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304, you propose to affix a self adhering circular paper label approximately 5/8 inch in diameter to your imported sandal. The paper label is gold colored and the words "MADE IN TAIWAN R.O.C." are printed in black lettering, in a semi-circular pattern around the outer edge of the circular label. The size of the letters spelling out "MADE IN TAIWAN" is about 3/64 inch, or 3 points high (a point is approximately .01384 inch), while the letters "R.O.C." are about 1/16 inch (4.5 points) high. Additionally, the number "9" (we presume a size designation), which is about 1/4 inch high and of bolder type, is printed in the center of this paper label.

We do not consider the tiny print spelling out "MADE IN TAIWAN", especially in combination with the arrangement of the lettering in a circular pattern, to be easy for the ultimate purchaser to read without strain. At the very least, the size of the country of origin letters should be as large as the letters "R.O.C." (1/16 inch high). However, if merely increasing the size of the letters results in the words becoming arranged in a full circle, Customs has already ruled that such an arrangement of letters is not acceptable. The letters run into one another and thereby make the country of origin marking illegible. We therefore suggest, that you increase the size of the label and the size of the print so that the country of origin will be easy to find and read. As is, the self adhering paper label that you have submitted is not acceptable country of origin marking for imported footwear.

Since you did not provide us with an actual sample of how well and where on the sandal your stick-on label will be attached, we can only comment that it must be affixed in a conspicuous place, securely enough so that, unless deliberately removed, it will remain on the sandal while it is in storage or on display and until it is delivered to the ultimate purchaser [19 CFR 134.44(b)].

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is 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.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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