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HQ 559524

February 16, 1996

MAR-05 RR:TC:SM 559524 BLS


Port Director
111 West Huron Street
Buffalo, New York14202-2378

RE: Country of origin marking of pipe fittings

Dear Sir:

This is in reference to a letter dated October 23, 1995, from Stephen T. Joy, Vice-President of Jensen Fittings Corporation, requesting country of origin marking requirements for certain pipe fittings. A sample of the article purchased from a competitor is submitted with the request. Mr. Joy advises that the product he currently imports is similar, and requests that we provide the applicable marking requirements for such article.


The sample pipe fitting, which the requestor advises is made of stainless steel, measures approximately 2" in its outer diameter, with an inner diameter of approximately 1 15/16". The exterior of the article at its mid-point contains the name "Tri-Flo", and a number beneath this designation. This writing appears to be etched or engraved. No other marking appears on the outer or inner surface of the article. The product submitted is attached to a section of cardboard, which appears to be part of the container in which the article was imported. The cardboard section contains the words "Made in Mexico" repeatedly in a pattern beneath the name "Tri-Flo."


What are the applicable country of origin marking requirements for stainless steel pipe fittings, such as the sample submitted.


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 U.S. shall be
marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or 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. 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 at the time of purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods are produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will." United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27 CCPA 297 at 302 (1940).

Under 19 U.S.C. 1304(c)(1), pipes of iron, steel, or stainless steel, and pipe fittings of steel, stainless steel, chrome-moly steel, or cast and malleable iron are required to be marked with the country of origin by means of die stamping, cast-in-mold lettering, etching, engraving, or continuous paint stenciling. One of these five prescribed methods must be used to mark the article, unless, because of its nature, it is technically or commercially infeasible to do so. In such case, the article may be marked by an equally permanent method of marking or, in the case of small diameter pipe, tube, and fittings, by tagging the containers or bundles. See 19 U.S.C. 1304(c)(2). Small diameter product includes fittings that have a nominal diameter of one-fourth or less and pipe with an inner diameter of 1.9 inches. (See T.D. 86-15 dated February 5, 1986, 51 Fed. Reg 24.)

As applied to the instant case, we find that pipe fittings similar to the pipe fitting submitted are required to be marked by one of the five methods prescribed under 19 U.S.C. 1304(c)(1), as there is no indication that it is technically or commercially infeasible to mark the pipe by one of these methods. Marking of the container or carton in which the article is enclosed will not satisfy the statutory requirements. In this regard, we note that additional duties in the amount of 10 percent ad valorem may be assessed if at the time of importation an article (or its container, if applicable) is not marked in accordance with the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304. See 19 U.S.C. 1304(f).


Pipe fittings similar to the sample pipe fitting submitted must be marked with
its country of origin by die stamping, cast-in-mold lettering, etching, engraving, or continuous paint stenciling, as prescribed in 19 U.S.C. 1304(c)(1).



John Durant, Director

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