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NY A82875

May 05, 1996

MAR-05-64:RR:NC:TP:347 A82875


Ms. Tinka G. Andrade
International Import Manager
933 Macarthur Boulevard
Mahwah, NJ 07430

RE: The country of origin marking of shoes and shoe boxes from China.

Dear Ms. Andrade:

In your letter dated April 19, 1996, you requested a country of origin marking ruling concerning shoes imported in shoe boxes with the registered tradename "Yosemite by Hi-Tec" printed on them.

The merchandise is certain hiker type shoes which bear the registered trademark "Yosemite by Hi-Tec", prominently displayed on the outside tongue. The shoe is marked with the country of origin on the inside of the tongue and on the box that it is sold in.

The marking statute, 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 C.F.R. 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 statute 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." United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27 CCPA 297, 302, C.A.D. 104 (1940). The clear language of section 1304 requires 'conspicuous' marking, and to this end section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 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. Regarding the concept of conspicuousness, where locations other than the country of origin of the merchandise are identified on an imported article or its container, section 134.47, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 134.47), further provides that: [w]hen as part of a trademark or trade name or as part of a souvenir marking, the name of a location in the United States or "United States" or "America" appear, the article shall be legibly, conspicuously, and permanently marked to indicate the name of the country of origin of the article preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or other similar words, in close proximity or in some other conspicuous location.

An examination of the shoes in question reveals a textile label sewn on the inside top of the tongue which indicates the country of origin of the shoe. While not in close proximity to the "Yosemite by Hi-Tec", it is located in a conspicuous place. This marking is sufficiently legible, conspicuous and permanent so as to inform the ultimate purchaser in the United States of the country of origin of the imported shoes.

If the shoes of foreign origin are conspicuously and legibly marked with their country of origin, than marking the unsealed shoe box with the country of origin of the shoe is unnecessary, provided that the boxes have no place or locality references printed on them. Customs has previously held that cardboard shoe boxes are disposable containers excepted from marking with their own country of origin under 19 C.F.R. 134.24(c)(1).

The box submitted as part of this ruling request has the registered tradename "Yosemite by Hi-Tec" prominently displayed on the end panel of the box. The box also has "Made in China" printed in smaller type on the end panel. This country of origin marking satisfies the requirements of 19 C.F.R. 134.47. To this end, both the shoes and boxes bearing the registered tradename "Yosemite by Hi-Tec" as submitted, are in compliance with the country of origin requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

If you require additional information, please contact NIS Richard Foley at (212) 466-5890.


Roger J. Silvestri

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