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NY A81351

April 22, 1996

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:FC: 225 A81351


TARIFF NO.: 9503.70.0030

Ms. Laura Giarraputo
C-Air International, Inc.
11222 S. La Cienega Blvd., Suite 100
Inglewood, CA 90304

RE: The tariff classification of a toy craft kit from China

Dear Ms. Giarraputo:

In your letter dated March 12, 1996, received in this office on March 20, 1996, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Lisa Frank, Inc.

A sample of the "Foam Art Sculptures" set accompanied your inquiry. The product consists of foam pieces, a cardboard easel, pens, beads, cords, etc. and instructions. The pieces may be put together to create jewelry, a picture frame, magnets and other articles. This office finds the collection of articles, when imported retail packed, work together to create an educational toy classifiable in Chapter 95.

Although the imported package contains the marking "Made in China" on the sealed polybag, this office was advised that, upon importation the package will be inserted into a closed cardboard box marked "Made in the U.S.A. of Domestic and Foreign Components."

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.

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.

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. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the "Foam Art Sculptures" is the consumer who purchases the product after the imported package has been inserted into its retail packaging.

As a direct result of the described repackaging process, the true country of origin is concealed within the obscure context of "Made in the U.S.A. of Domestic and Foreign Components." Marking in this fashion is misleading to the ultimate purchaser who may perceive such language to mean that some of the components are of U.S. origin and some from possibly one or more other countries. It leaves the consumer completely unaware that only the outer box is made in the U.S. and that all of the contents are made in China. Therefore, the product submitted fails to meet the country of origin marking requirements.

An alternative form of marking the outer package might be: "Box Made in the U.S., Contents Made in China." In addition, consideration must be given to such marking being in close relation to the U.S. address of "Tucson, Arizona." Note that the country of origin must be printed within close proximity to the U.S. reference.

Ultimately, it is the port director who must be satisfied that the "Foam Art Sculptures" set will reach the ultimate purchaser in a properly marked package. You may wish to discuss the matter of country of origin marking with the Customs Import Specialist at the proposed port of entry.

The applicable subheading for the "Foam Art Sculptures" will be 9503.70.0030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other toys, put up in sets or outfits: other: other. The rate of duty will be free.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 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 Alice J. Wong at 212-466-5538.


Roger J. Silvestri

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