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NY A86556

September 6, 1996

MAR-2 RR:NC:FC:225 A86556


Mr. Adam Gardner
More Balls Than Most
26 West 17th Street Suite 702
New York, N.Y. 10011


Dear Mr. Gardner:

This is in response to your letter, which was forwarded to this office on August 13, 1996, requesting a ruling on whether the marking of a container, in which toy balls are imported, with the country of origin in lieu of marking the article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported "Juggling Kit". Two marked samples were submitted with your letter for review.

The "Juggling Kit" consists of three soft balls and a booklet containing instructions. The items are packaged in a rectangular shaped closed box for retail sale. You indicate that the balls are not removed from the box in which they are imported and will be sold directly to your customers after a random quality check examination of the goods.

As the "Juggling Kits" are made in two different countries, China and England, a sample from each accompanied your inquiry. Both articles were marked with a self adhesive label. In the first instance, the words "MADE IN CHINA" are printed in black on a gold colored oval shaped sticker. The other label is printed in gold on a transparent background with the words "Hand Made in England".

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.

Section 134.44(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44(b)), provides that if paper sticker or pressure sensitive labels are used, they must be affixed in a conspicuous place and so securely that, unless deliberately removed, they will remain on the article while it is in storage or on display and until it is delivered to the ultimate purchaser.

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d), defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the "Juggling Kit" is the consumer who purchases the product at retail.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. Accordingly, if Customs is satisfied that the article will remain in its container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the "Juggling Kit" by viewing the container in which it is packaged, the individual balls, contained therein, would be excepted from marking under this provision.

The individual balls which are imported in containers that are marked in the manner described above, are excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d). Accordingly, marking the container in which the balls are imported and sold to the ultimate purchaser in lieu of marking the article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported "Juggling Kit" provided the port director is satisfied that the article will remain in the marked container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser.

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 Alice J. Wong at 212-466-5538.


Roger J. Silvestri

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