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January 2,
MAR-05 RR:TC:SM 560154 BLS


Mr. Richard G. Seley
Rudolph Miles & Sons, Inc.
P.O. Box 11057
El Paso, Texas 79983

RE: Applicability of country of origin marking to containers shipped under Transportation and
Exportation entry

Dear Mr. Seley:

This is in reference to your letter dated October 11, 1996, requesting a ruling concerning the marking of containers shipped in bond in the U.S. under a Transportation and Exportation Entry


Epson El Paso, Inc. ("Epson") will import from Japan certain disposable aluminum packaging materials which will be used as the outermost containers for ink jet cartridges. These containers will cross the U.S. in-bond on a T & E from either Los Angeles or Long Beach, California, to El Paso, Texas, to be immediately exported to Mexico. Since the country of origin of the ink cartridges will be Mexico, and the printing on the packaging includes the geographic locations "Netherlands" and "Japan", Epson wishes to mark the containers "Made in Mexico" in close proximity and comparable size to the geographic localities which are not the country of origin of the ink cartridges. You state that Epson has no intent to enter these containers empty into the U.S. for consumption.


Whether disposable containers of Japanese origin which are transported in bond in the U.S. under a T & E entry and are exported without being withdrawn for consumption in the U.S., are subject to the country of origin marking requirements.


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 United States 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 United States the English name of the country of origin of the article. Part 134 of the Customs Regulations implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

Part 134.32, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32), sets forth some of the general exceptions to the marking requirements. Section 134.32(j), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(j)), provides that articles entered or withdrawn from warehouse for immediate exportation or for transportation and exportation are excepted from marking requirements. This regulation applies to situations, such as the case presented, where merchandise enters the United States or is withdrawn from a warehouse, solely for exportation or transportation and exportation to another country and is never consumed or used in the United States.

It is well established, that as a general rule, goods are considered "imported", and hence subject to the tariff statute, when they are brought within a Customs district of the United States with an intent to unlade. Hollander Co. v. U.S., 22 C.C.P.A. 645, T.D. 47632 (1935); Estate of Pritchard v. U. S., 43 C.C.P.A. 85, C.A.D. 612 (1955); Sterling Bronze Co. v. U.S., 12 Ct. Cust. Appls. 338, T.D. 40487 (1924); Mills & Gibbs Corp. v. U.S., 13 Ct. Cust. Appls. 72, T.D. 40933 (1925); and Charles T. Smith Inc. v. U.S., 11 Ct. Cust. Appls. 39, C.D. 789 (1943). Of significance to the case at hand is the opinion in East Asiatic Co., Inc. v. U.S., 27 C.C.P.A. 364, C.A.D. 112 (1940), which involved an interpretation of the word "importation" as used in the statute governing additional duties for failure to mark, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304). The court in East Asiatic stated that "import" in the tariff sense implies the bringing into the United States of foreign goods for use or consumption here. With respect to marking the court stated that:

...when Congress enacted section 304(b), supra, relating to the marking of any imported goods, it had in mind merchandise which was to enter into our commerce. Unless the goods entered into our commerce, a failure to mark them would be of no concern . . .. (East Asiatic
Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 364 at 366-67).

Based on the East Asiatic Co. decision, it follows that imported articles and/or their containers that enter the U.S. for transportation and exportation and are not destined for consumption or use in the United States are excepted from the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

As noted in the facts above, the importer will enter the packaging materials into the U.S. for the sole purpose of transit through the U.S. with no intention of entering such materials into the commerce of the United States. Thus, consistent with the holding in East Asiatic and pursuant to the exception from marking provided for in 19 CFR 134.32(j), we find that, under the circumstances of this case, the containers are not subject to the marking requirements of Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304). This exception is not applicable if the goods are entered for consumption, whether or not they are subsequently exported.


Based on the information submitted, disposable containers that are imported in bond for transportation and exportation through the U.S., to be exported to Mexico, are excepted from the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Therefore, marking the containers in the described manner will not contravene the marking requirements upon arrival of the empty containers into the U.S.

A copy of this ruling 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.



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