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NY A86992

MAR-2 RR:NC:5:353 A86992


Mr. Lawerence R. Pilon
Hodes & Pilon
33 North Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60602-3109

RE: THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN MARKING OF hospital care garments.

Dear Mr. Pilon:

This is in response to your letter dated August 16, 1996 requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking of country of origin, on the reverse side of the label is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported hospital care garments. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review. However, a photo copy of the label was attached to your letter.

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.

In the instant case, you state that the country of origin label will be on the back of the label. The country of origin marking on the back of the label is not conspicuous within the meaning of these provisions. In Headquarters Rulings Letters 724694, dated March 6, 1984, 731727, dated June 16, 1989 and 086861, dated June 2, 1990, Customs ruled that a country of origin marking on the back of a label is not easy to find and is therefore not conspicuous. The ultimate purchaser should not have to fold over the label to read the country of origin marking. In accordance with those rulings, we find that because the country of origin marking on the health care garment is on the back of the label it is not conspicuous and should be placed on the front of the label.

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.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

Additionally, please note that separate Federal Trade Commission marking requirements exist regarding country of origin, fiber content, and other information that must appear on many textile items. You should contact the Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C., 20580, for information on the applicability of these requirements to these items.

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 Martin Weiss at 212-466-5881.


Roger J. Silvestri

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