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NY A81142

April 3, 1996

MAR-2 RR:NC:TP:349 A81142


Mr. Peter S. Herrick
3520 Crystal View Court
Miami, Florida 33133


Dear Mr. Herrick:

This is in response to your letter dated February 20, 1996 on behalf of Crystal Trading Co., Ltd. requesting a ruling on whether the proposed method of marking the container in which eyeglass lens cleaning cloths are imported with the country of origin in lieu of marking the article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking. A marked sample container was submitted with your letter for review.

You submitted a box of eyeglass lens cleaning cloths. The cloths are made of 80 percent polyester and 20 percent nylon woven fabric. They are grey in color and have pinked edges. These cloths measure 5-3/4 inches square and are packed 100 to a box. The disposable boxes and 100 cloths are sold to optical laboratories and doctors. The minimum order is one box. The cloths are used by the labs and doctors for cleaning Anti-Reflective coated lenses and regular eyeglass lenses. These cloths are given by doctors or labs to a customer with the purchase of glasses.

In your letter you indicate the disposable box is marked "Made in Korea". It is your opinion that marking the cardboard box with the country of origin of the cloths is sufficient since the box is not capable of reuse and the purchasers (laboratories and doctors) would know the origin of the cloths. 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. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d), defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. Section 134.1 (d)(4) indicates that if the imported article is distributed as a gift the recipient is the "ultimate purchaser". Consequently, although the eyeglass lens cleaning cloth may be given away by doctors and labs free of charge, under the Customs regulations the recipient of the cloth, not the importer, doctors or laboratories, would be considered the ultimate purchaser. Therefore, the cloths must be marked permanently, legibly and conspicuously, to indicate their country of origin to their recipient.

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

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist John Hansen at 212-466-5854.


Roger J. Silvestri

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