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NY 802329

October 11, 1994

CLA-2-49:S:N:N8:234 802329


TARIFF NO.: 4911.10.0080

Ms. Carin Moore
Trans Continental West Printing Inc.
1420 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2200
Seattle, Washington 98101

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking requirements for printed advertisements from Canada; NAFTA; periodicals; gifts; giveaways; free of charge; recipient; ultimate purchaser; Article 509.

Dear Ms. Moore:

In your letter dated September 7, 1994, you requested a tariff classification and marking ruling.

A sample was submitted and will be retained for reference. It is an 88-page, staple-bound printed booklet entitled "The Auto Guide." It contains advertisements which describe and illustrate, with individual photographs (many in color), automobiles being offered for sale by the numerous used-car dealers who placed the ads. Although this 8" x 10" paper-covered booklet appears to be a dated, numbered issue in a continuous series, it consists entirely of the advertisements; there are no articles or other textual entries of a non-promotional nature.

The front cover is marked "FREE," and in our experience the item is the type of publication which typically can be found stacked in supermarkets, shopping malls and the like, for distribution to passersby without charge or obligation.

The applicable subheading for "The Auto Guide" will be 4911.10.0080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other (than certain enumerated) printed trade advertising material, commercial catalogs and the like. The rate of duty will be free.

Noting that the auto guides will be printed in Canada and are not intended for sale to the public, you ask whether, under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the individual booklets will have to be marked with their country of origin.

Articles of foreign origin imported into the United States must be marked in such manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser the name of the country of origin. Section 134.1(d) of the Customs Regulations 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; 134.1(d)(4) further states that if an imported article is distributed as a gift, the recipient is the ultimate purchaser. However, T.D. 94-1 amended the Customs Regulations on an interim basis to implement NAFTA. In pertinent part, it amended the aforementioned paragraph 134.1(d)(4) by indicating that if a product imported for distribution as a gift is a good of a NAFTA country, the purchaser of the gift (rather than the recipient) will be considered the ultimate purchaser.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. Accordingly, if Customs is satisfied that the article will remain in its container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser, and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the article by viewing the container in which it is packaged, the individual article would be excepted from marking under this provision.

Thus, assuming that the auto guides qualify as "goods of a NAFTA country" and that they will be purchased by a U.S. entity prior to their free distribution, marking the outer containers in which the booklets are imported and sold to that entity (ultimate purchaser) will be an acceptable country of origin marking, provided the district director is satisfied that the articles will remain in the marked containers until they reach the ultimate purchaser.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181).

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

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