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NY 884428

April 28, 1993

MAR-2-05:S:N:N3:115 884428


Mr. Troy E. Clarke
CBT International, Inc.
110 West Ocean Blvd.
Suite 1003
Long Beach, CA 90802

RE: The country of origin marking requirements for a 99 piece tool set from Taiwan and India.

Dear Mr. Clarke:

In your letter dated March 17, 1993, you requested a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements for a 99 piece tool set, for your client Alltrade Inc., Commerce, CA.

The subject item is a 99 piece socket, bit & wrench set. It is packed in a large, plastic, transparent on top opaque on the bottom, reusable fitted carrying case. The case measures approximately 16" by 12". The plastic molded carrying case with its tools inside are then covered with a cardboard sleeve. 93 pieces of these sockets, bits and wrenches are from Taiwan. 6 combination wrenches from India are assembled with the 93 pieces into the plastic case in the United States at the importer's premises thus making a 99 piece tool set. Each socket and wrench in the assembled kit is marked by die sinking with its country of origin, though the marking is not legible. The cardboard sleeve is then marked as follows:


Section 134.41, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), requires that "the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain." A marking is not required to be located in the most conspicuous location but should be placed in a location where the ultimate purchaser would be expected to look. In this regard, we have noted that the concept of conspicuousness embraces two concerns: (1) visibility, which is concerned with the requirement that the marking must be able to be found easily, and (2) legibility, which is concerned with the requirement that the marking must be able to be read without strain. We have also noted that, in general, information presented in boldface print and/or a large print size tends to draw the ultimate purchaser's attention away from other information that is presented in lightface type and/or smaller print size. Lastly, we have noted that the country of origin marking should be presented in a format that is conspicuous: made readily apparent, so that, at the time of purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will.

In this instance, we find that the country of origin marking on the 99 piece tool set is neither easy to find nor to read, and although printed in a large print type - it is obscured amidst other information, which makes it hard to locate. On the same panel, different information including guarantee and warning labels are presented in bolded, larger type face and color contrast.

To satisfy conspicuosity, your marking should be made larger and emboldened as other information is on the guarantee and warning markings on the same face of the cardboard sheath. An additional solid line should be inserted, to separate the U.S.A. address after the first two lines. This will allow the marking to be easily viewed by the ultimate purchaser.

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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