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NY A83463

June 7, 1996

MAR-2 RR:NC:WA:360 A83463


Ms. Ava Powell
I.Appel Corp.
Scotts Hill Apparel Division
P.O. Box 98 - Highway 100 East
Scotts Hill, TN 38374

RE: The Country of Origin Marking oF Women's Robes

Dear Ms. Powell:

This is in response to your letter dated April 29, 1996 requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking "Made in Mexico" is an acceptable marking for the content label attached to the imported robe. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review and will be returned under separate cover.

The submitted sample is a women's 100% polyester robe. The robe has long sleeves, a full front opening secured by a zipper and a stand-up collar. A fabric brand name label measuring approximately by 1 1/2" by 1" is permanently sewn on the inside center of the neck midway between the shoulder seams, at the collar seam. Immediately below the brand name label is a second plastic coated label, measuring approximately 2 " by 1 1/2" sewn to the brand name label. The front of this label provides the garment size, fiber content, country of origin and the style number. The reverse side of the label contains the FTC care information. The country of origin information appears in a contrasting color from the label fabric and is equal in size to the fiber content, size and style number.

The marking statute, section 304, 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 in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

Customs ruled in T.D. 54640(6) dated July 15, 1958, that shirts, blouses, coats, sweaters and similar wearing apparel must be legibly and conspicuously marked with the name of the country of origin by means of a fabric label or label made from natural or synthetic film sewn or otherwise permanently affixed on the inside center of the neck midway between the shoulder seams or in that immediate area or otherwise permanently marked in that area in some other manner.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 73478 dated May 21, 1993, Customs ruled that a girls' jacket which contained a brand label sewn into the center of the neck midway between the shoulder seams, and a second label bearing the country of origin marking, size, and fiber content information sewn immediately below the brand label satisfied the marking requirements. Customs found that the country of origin label which was affixed 1 1/2 " from the neck seam was "in the immediate area" of the neck and shoulders, as required by T.D. 54640(6). It was also noted that the country of origin label would be easily found by an ultimate purchaser because information such as the size and fiber content is printed on the label, and a purchaser would definitely want to know and read this information prior to making a purchasing decision.

It should be noted that textile fiber products imported into the U.S. must be labeled in accordance with the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act (TFPIA) (15 U.S.C. 70 through 70k) and the rules promulgated thereunder by the Federal Trade Commission. The applicable regulations under the TFPIA, while stated somewhat differently from the Customs regulations, are to the same effect. Rule 15(b) provides that each textile fiber product with a neck shall have the label affixed to the inside center of the neck. Rule 16 specifies that a textile article's country of origin is a required item of information which shall be set out on the same side of the label as the other required information, and must be clearly legible and readily accessible to the prospective purchaser. Other items of required information may appear on the reverse side under certain circumstances, but such allowances do not exist under these rules for country of origin marking. Thus these regulations are consistent with Customs requirements in requiring country of origin marking on sewn-in labels to appear on the front side of the label.

Questions concerning fiber content and care labelling requirements are covered under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act. Therefore, we suggest that you contact the Federal Trade Commission, Division of Enforcement, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20508, as to whether the proposed marking satisfies such requirements.

The proposed marking of imported robes, as described above, is conspicuously, legibly and permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported garment.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Patricia Schiazzano at 212-466-5866.


Roger J. Silvestri

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