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NY 816715

December 15, 1995

MAR-2 :NC:WA:353 816715


Mr. John B. Pellegrini
Ross & Hardes
65 East 55th Street
New York, New York 10022-3219

RE: Country of origin marking of baseball caps with references thereon to places other than the country origin.

Dear Mr. Pellegrini:

This is in response to your letter dated November 9, 1995, received in our office on November 21, 1995,on behalf of Reebock International Ltd. concerning the country of origin marking requirements of four baseball caps with references thereon to places other than the country of origin. Drawings of each of the four caps in question and a current production cap was submitted for review with your request. The current production cap is marked"Made in Taiwan" on a sewn-in textile label permanently affixed to the inside edge of the crown.

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 U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article 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 requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

Customs has recognized that the presence of a geographic location or reference thereto of a country other than the one in which the article was produced may mislead the ultimate purchaser as to the true country of origin. However, Customs has often distinguished those special cases in which the circumstances were such that reference to a place other than the country of origin on an imported article would not confuse the ultimate purchaser as to the true country of origin.

The submitted samples bear references to other countries other than the country of origin such as the "USA" logo, a stars and stripes design and representations of the British Union Jack. Although these representations are present, we conclude that they would not cause any confusion regarding the country of origin of the caps. It is noted that they are included as decorations on the caps and are an integral part of its design. As such, the ultimate purchaser would view these decorations solely as part of the design of the caps and not as an indicator of origin. The requirements of 19 U.S.C. are satisfied so long as the caps are marked permanently, legibly and conspicuously in like manner to the submitted production cap.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 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 Martin Weiss at 212-466-5881.


Roger J. Silvestri

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