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NY 890988

October 18, 1993

MAR-2-39:S:N:N6:221 890988


Mrs. Lynnette Keffer
Jones & Klink Corporation
P.O. Box 92815
Los Angeles, CA 90009-2815

RE: The country of origin marking requirements for produce bags from Spain.

Dear Mrs. Keffer:

In your letter dated September 29, 1993, on behalf of Weisner Trading Company, you requested a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements for produce bags.

The bags, which are composed of extruded polypropylene netting, will be imported empty and later filled with produce grown in California. The samples submitted with your request are marked with a label indicating "California Oranges," "Produce of U.S.A." and the name and address of the packager in California, preceded by the words, "Packed By." It is clear from the information on the label that the references to domestic locations refer to the produce, and not to the packaging bags.

Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), requires that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or 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. Section 134.1(d), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 134.1(d)], defines "ultimate purchaser" as "generally the last person in the United States who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported."

Section 134.24(b), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 134.24(b)], provides that disposable containers, not designed or capable of reuse, which are imported empty and packed and sold in multiple units, need not be individually marked with the country of origin. The marking requirements may be met by marking the outermost container which reaches the ultimate purchaser. The packers of the fresh produce are considered to be the ultimate purchasers of the polypropylene net bags. Therefore, the bags may be excepted from individual marking provided the shipping containers in which they are imported are marked to indicate the country of origin of the bags, and the Customs officers at the port of entry are satisfied that the shipping containers will reach the ultimate purchaser unopened.

The references on the bags to domestic locations do not create the erroneous impression that the bags are of United States origin. Rather, they imply only that the produce packed within is of domestic origin. Therefore, the marking will not be considered misleading or deceptive, provided that the Customs officers at the port of entry are satisfied that the merchandise to be packaged in the bags is in fact produce grown in the United States.

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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