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NY 811599

July 11, 1995

MAR-2 S:N:N1:103 811599


Mr. Donald C. Groetzinger
PLI, Inc.
PO Box 4051
Racine, WI 53404


Dear Mr. Groetzinger:

This is in response to your letter dated June 8, 1995 requesting a ruling on whether certain proposed marking is acceptable country of origin marking for imported lubricant dispensers.

PLI, Inc. will utilize a subsidiary, Greasomatic America, to import unmarked empty lubricant dispensers into the United States. The dispensers are circular-shaped devices used to automatically dispense a lubricant at a certain rate. In Ruling Letter NY 806378 issued on your behalf on Feb. 24, 1995, we held that various similar lubricant dispensers were properly classifiable in the provision for machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere...Other machines and mechanical appliances... in subheading 8479.89.95, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

The imported dispensers will be warehoused by Greasomatic America until they are sold to a distributor or end user. When this occurs the dispensers will be filled with one of approximately two hundred different U.S. manufactured lubricants, and a label will be affixed to the outer surface of the dispenser. Some lubricators will be purchased by PLI from Greasomatic America for resale to an end user, while others will be sold directly by Greasomatic to a distributor for resale to an end user. After filling and labelling, the lubricators will be packaged and shipped to the distributor/end user.

A photocopy of the label you propose to use was submitted with your letter. The photocopy depicts a label approximately 8 inches wide and 2.25 inches high. The label will contain both fixed and variable information. The fixed information, which will be pre-printed on the label in three columns, consists of instructions on the proper handling and installation of the lubricator. In addition, the following variable information will be individually imprinted into the middle column of each label:

1. The type of lubricant with which the lubricator has been filled.

2. The name, address, and telephone number of PLI or the distributor to whom it has been sold.

3. A sequential serial number.

Following this information, the middle column also contains the words "MADE IN ENGLAND by WYMARK Ltd. Cheltenham" in letters equal in size to that of the name and address of PLI (or, presumably, the distributor) appearing directly above this marking. In addition, and unlike the other information, the country of origin marking is printed in white letters on a dark background, thus making it easier to see. Finally, "Greasomatic America, Racine, WI" appears in the third column directly to the right of the country of origin marking in smaller sized letters.

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.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

Initially, it is suggested that you contact the District Director of Customs at the port through which you will enter the merchandise in order to request a marking exception by which you may be allowed to import the lubricators in an unmarked condition provided the container in which they are imported is properly marked.

Regarding the proposed labelling of the imported lubricant dispensers after they have been filled, as described above, only the lubricant dispenser itself is made in England. Your proposed marking may mislead purchasers into thinking the lubricant with which it is filled is also of English origin. In our opinion the label should state "LUBRICATOR MADE IN ENGLAND" in order to remove any possible confusion as to the origin of the entire unit.

Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), requires 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 manufactured or produced, appears 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 order to satisfy the close proximity requirement, the country of origin marking must generally appear on the same side(s) or surface(s) in which the name or locality other than the actual country of origin appears. The proposed marking of the imported lubricant dispensers suggested above, appearing directly next to "Greasomatic America, Racine, WI" but in larger size, contrasting letters, satisfies the marking requirements of 19 CFR Part 134.46 and will be acceptable.

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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