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NY 892543

December 17, 1993

CLA-2-42:S:N:N6:341 892543


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.9025

Ms. Kay Boles
Mervyn's Import Department
25001 Industrial Blvd.
Hayward, CA 94545

RE: The tariff classification and marking of a jewelry box from Taiwan.

Dear Ms. Boles:

In your letter dated November 17, 1993, you requested a tariff classification ruling addressing the acceptability of the country of origin marking as it relates to the sample submitted.

The sample submitted is a jewelry box constructed of velvet man-made material measuring approximately 5" x 4" x 1 1/2". The interior is specially designed with several compartments to contain jewelry. There is a fitted mirror within the lid. The item is marketed, displayed, and sold in a cardboard box which is printed with the country of origin. The jewelry box itself is marked with a pressure sensitive label on the exterior rear portion of the hinge. Your sample is being returned as you requested.

The applicable subheading for the jewelry box of velvet man-made textile material will be 4202.92.9025, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, jewelry boxes and similar containers, with outer surface of textile materials, other, other, other, of man-made fibers. The duty rate will be 20 percent ad valorem. Items classifiable under 4202.92.9025 fall within textile category designation 670. Based upon international textile trade agreements, products of Taiwan are subject to visa requirements and quota restraints.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

The marking statue, Section 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. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR part 134) implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of (19 U.S.C 1304). The primary purpose of the country of origin marking statue is to mark the goods 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.

Section 134.32(d) provides that if the marking of the container will reasonably indicate the origin of the inclosed imported articles, then the articles themselves need not be individually marked. This exception is applicable in cases where the article is imported in a properly marked container and Customs officials at the port of entry are satisfied that in all reasonably foreseeable circumstances the ultimate purchaser will receive the article in its original, unopened and properly marked container.

In this case, because the box is unsealed, disposable type, we are not convinced that they will always remain with the article until the article reach the ultimate purchaser. Although the box is marked "Made in Taiwan" the contents must be marked as required by the marking statue, Section 304.

The clear language of Section 1304 requires "conspicuous" marking, and to this end 134.41(b) further provides, in part, that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. In this regard, we note that the concept of conspicuousness embrace 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. The method of marking should ensure that the ultimate purchaser can easily discover the country of origin marking upon a casual inspection of the merchandise.

Although the jewelry box itself is marked with a pressure sensitive label on the exterior portion of the rear hinge, that is lightly glued, it is not sufficiently secured to remain with the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser. The pressure sensitive tag is neither permanent nor conspicuous. We recommend that the interior be marked by means of a more securely affixed label placed on the interior hinge which reads "Made in Taiwan".

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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