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NY A88346

October 31, 1996

MAR-2-82:RR:NC:1:119 A88346


Ms. Kelley Thompson
West Coast Beauty Supply
5001 Industrial Way
Benicia, CA 94510

RE: The Country of Origin Marking of Hair Stylist Shears from Korea

Dear Ms. Thompson:

In your letter dated September 19, 1996, received October 8, 1996 by this office, you requested a country of origin marking ruling.

The sample you furnished is a pair of hair stylist shears with minor accessories in a plastic case 19 centimeters long by 8 1/2 centimeters wide which in turn is enclosed in a cardboard box. The top of the plastic case cover bears the company logo and trade name "Centrix Cricket". On the inner side of the cover, in the lower right hand corner, is the marking in 2mm raised letters "Korea".

The cardboard box also has the logo and trade name but in addition has the following markings: "Model No. 500" on the two ends of the box and on the back "THE CRICKET COMPANY; P.O. Box 77187; Station E; San Francisco, CA 94107 800-654-7032 Printed in Korea".

You have indicated on the sample you enclosed with a white piece of tape and black letters where you plan to die stamp the word "Korea". The location is about 1 1/2 cm below the pivotal screw at the blade and handle juncture.

You ask in your letter whether the die stamped marking you have indicated on the sample would be acceptable. You inquired further as to whether the marking on the inside of the cover alone would satisfy the regulation based on section 134.32(d) which excepts from marking certain "articles for which the marking of the containers will reasonably indicate the origin of the articles."

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 addition, Section 134.43(a) of the Customs Regulations requires that certain articles such as scissors and shears be marked by means of die stamping, cast-in-mold lettering, etching, engraving, or by affixing metal plates to the article.

The die stamped marking you plan would of course be blind marking (i.e. no contrasting colors). It is in an inconspicuous location and would be partly hidden. It therefore would not be acceptable.

The Customs Service has ruled (see HQ 732437 dated 10-4-89) that the exception allowed under section 134.32(d) could apply to articles that are required to be die stamped under Section 134.43(a). However the "Korea" marking on the plastic case is totally unacceptable because it is practically invisible. This is due in part to the fact that once the case is opened, one's attention is immediately drawn to the contents of the case and not to the case itself. It was only after a number of examinations that we discovered the marking "Korea". If the case is to be marked it must be on the outside and the marking must be legible and conspicuous.

Section 134.46 of the Customs Regulations states the following:

In any case in which the words "United States," or "American," the letters "U.S.A.," any variations of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appear on an imported article or its container, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or other words of similar meaning.

In view of the above, the marking "Printed in Korea" next to the company name and U.S. address is inadequate and does not meet the requirements of the Regulations.

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.

If you have any questions pertaining to this matter, please contact National Import Specialist Jacques Preston of this office at (212) 466-5488.


Roger J. Silvestri

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