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NY 812826

August 11, 1995

MAR-2 S:N:N3:230 812826


Ms. Laura Forbes
A.N. Deringer, Inc.
2436 Bagley Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216


Dear Ms. Forbes:

This is in response to your letter dated July 13, 1995, on behalf of your client, Krakatoa Ltd., requesting a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements for Indonesian handicrafts imported in unassembled parts.

Krakatoa Ltd. imports various painted wooden handicrafts such as masks and fish on stands and standing horses, roosters, giraffes and statues. The handicrafts are imported in unassembled parts which are packed separately. Only the main part of each handicraft is marked with the country of origin. The parts will be assembled together after importation and the country of origin sticker that was on the main part will remain visible. The handicrafts will be sold fully assembled via mail order or to retail stores.

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. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

Pursuant to section 134.32(g) Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(g)), an imported article is excepted from marking if it is to be processed in the U.S. by the importer or for his account otherwise than for the purpose of concealing the origin of such article and in such manner that any country of origin marking would necessarily be obliterated, destroyed or permanently concealed. Articles excepted from marking under this provision at the time of importation must be marked to indicate the country of origin after processing unless such processing consitutes a substantial transformation. The purpose of such requirement is to ensure that the ultimate purchaser is advised of the country of origin.

The imported handicraft parts will not be sold in their unassembled form. They will be put together in a simple assembly operation to form the assembled handicrafts. If all the parts were marked prior to assembly some of these markings would probably be concealed. The marking exception under section 134.32(g) Customs Regulations would apply in this case.

However, this assembly process does not result in a substantial transformation. Consequently, the final assembled handicrafts are required to be marked with the country of origin. The exception under section 134.32(g) Customs Regulations is subject to the provisions of section 134.26(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.26(a)).

Section 134.26(a), Customs Regulations, requires that a certification statement be given at the time of importation for imported articles which will be repacked or manipulated after release from Customs custody. The importer must certify to the district director at the port of entry that the country of origin marking appearing on the imported article will not be obscured or that any new containers will be be marked with the country of origin as required.

The imported handicraft parts are excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(G) and section 134.32(g), Customs Regulations, (19 CFR 134.32(g)). However, the assembled handicrafts are required to be marked with the country of origin in a conspicuous and permanent manner as required by the regulations. In addition, a repacking certificate must be filed with the district director in compliance with 19 CFR 134.26.

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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