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NY 879922

November 18, 1992

MAR-2-73:S:N:N1:113 879922


Mr. Leonard M. Shayne
Leading Forwarders
1 World Trade Center
New York, NY 10048

RE: The marking of cosmetic compacts

Dear Mr. Shayne:

In your letter dated October 29, 1992, on behalf of Estee Lauder, you requested a marking ruling.

The merchandise is a cosmetic compact of base metal. The sample you provided with your original request showed a country of origin marking on the underside of the lip of the lid. The sample was not returned with your resubmitted request, nor were our telephone calls to your office returned. Therefore, we do not know the actual country of origin of the goods.

The marking statute, 304 of the 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 the English name of the country of origin of the article.

Where the articles imported constitute containers, 19 CFR Subpart C is applicable, and section 134.22(b) of this subpart provides generally that containers for imported merchandise which are subject to treatment as imported articles under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (19 U.S.C. 1202), shall be marked to indicate clearly the country of their own origin in addition to any marking which may be required to show the country of origin of their contents. However, the country of origin marking requirements applicable to containers imported empty depend, in part, on whether the containers are reusable or disposable in nature. Specifically, 134.22(d)(3) and 134.24(c) provide that disposable containers imported by persons or firms who fill them with various products which they sell may be excepted from individual marking pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304(a) (3)(D). However, this exception is not applicable if the imported containers are reusable. Under 134.23, containers are considered reusable if they are either designed for or capable of reuse after the contents have been consumed, or impart the essential character to the whole importation. Such containers, whether imported full or empty, must be individually marked to indicate the country of their own origin with a marking such as, "Container Made in (name of country)."

After examining the sample submitted, we believe the compact does not constitute the usual ordinary types of containers ordinarily discarded after the contents have been consumed. Rather, it constitutes the type of container "clearly suitable for repetitive use." Therefore, the compact is not excepted from individual marking under 134.24 and 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D) and must be conspicuously marked to indicate its own country of origin. This determination is based on the sturdy construction of the compact and your statement that Estee Lauder sells refill cosmetics for the compact. Accordingly, the marking provisions of 134.23(a) are applicable and the compact must be individually marked.

An appropriate marking for the bags would be "Compact made in _____." This marking should appear in a conspicuous place, such as the side of the compact, not on the underside of the lip of the lid.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

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
Area Director

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