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NY 812669

August 7, 1995

MAR-2 S:N:N3:226 812669


Mr. Arlen Epstein
Serko and Simon
One World Trade Center
Suite 3371
New York, N.Y. 10048

RE: The marking of sculptstone and porcelain figurines

Dear Mr. Epstein:

In your letter dated July 18, 1995, on behalf of Russ Berrie and Company, you requested a ruling regarding the proper country of origin marking for a "sculptsone" (probably agglomerated stone) fox figurine made in Indonesia and a porcelain ballerina figurine made in China.

You indicated that the boxes for these products will be marked with stickers indicating the country of origin of each product. Samples of the articles (item numbers 14653 and 15466) and cartons were submitted with your ruling request. You stated that the merchandise will be sold to the ultimate purchaser in the boxes and will never be sold outside of these boxes.

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 manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

When a product will be sold at retail in its imported form, the ultimate purchaser of the merchandise will be the consumer who purchases the product at retail. Under 19 U.S.C. 1304 and Section 134 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 134), an article is excepted from marking if the marking of the container will reasonably indicate the country of origin of the article to the ultimate purchaser.


The marking of the box (rather than the item itself) could be acceptable if evidence is presented which indicates that every consumer who purchases the product at retail will receive the merchandise in the box. Proof must be presented which indicates that none of the retailers will remove the articles from the boxes prior to sale to the consumers. This evidence must be presented to U.S. Customs at the port of entry when the merchandise is imported.

In this instance the marking on the boxes submitted in not acceptable. The containers must be marked in a conspicuous manner. However, the country of origin appears on the bottom or underside of the boxes. This marking is not conspicuous. The country of origin marking must appear in a more conspicuous location on the boxes.

We will now address the question of certain potentially confusing information which appears on the boxes. The labels on the boxes refer to specific U.S. localities and addresses. In accordance with Section 134.46 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 134.46), the words "Made in Indonesia" or "Made in China" appear in lettering which is the same size as the words referring to the U.S. localities. However, the box for the sculptsone fox also includes the words "North American Wildlife" in lettering which is much larger than the phrase "Made in Indonesia." This is not acceptable marking. The lettering for the words "Made in Indonesia" must be at least as large as the words "North American Wildlife." The phrase "Made in Indonesia" must appear in the same location as the words "North American Wildlife."

This ruling will be issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

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