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NY B80117

December 23, 1996

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:233 B80117


Mr. Greg Cartlidge
Cabouchon Ltd.
West Cross House,
2 West Cross Way
Brentford, Middlesex TW8 9DE

RE: The country of origin marking of jewelry from Taiwan, Hong Kong and the U.K..

Dear Mr. Cartlidge:

This is in response to your letter dated March 12, 1996, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed methods of marking the packages in which the jewelry are imported with the country of origin in lieu of marking the articles themselves are acceptable country of origin markings for the imported jewelry. Marked sample packages were submitted with your letter for review.

You have submitted samples of the following two types of proposed methods of marking and packaging:

Method A: The first proposed method of marking is with a permanent, tamper proof country of origin label attached to the outside of a plastic polybag containing the jewelry which is attached to a backer card. Two samples have a base seam with a top closure sealed by the use of scotch tape. The third sample has a base seam with a top enclosure which is folded over and heat sealed.

Method B: The second proposed method of marking is to reseal the packet inside another packet, once the country of origin has been stuck on. The three samples submitted for this method are the samples as described in Method A, repackaged in another polybag and heat sealed.

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.

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.

Articles for which the marking of the containers will reasonably indicate their origin are excepted from individual marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d). This exception applies only if the article in question is imported in a properly marked container and Customs is satisfied that the article will reach the ultimate purchaser in this original marked unopened container. As provided in 19 CFR 134.1(d) the ultimate purchaser is generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported.

The three samples provided with the Method B proposed marking and packaging, and only the heat sealed polybag in Method A are acceptable methods of marking and packaging. The samples which are sealed with the use of scotch tape are not acceptable. Because the containers, the polybags, are not heat sealed at both ends, Customs has no assurance that the jewelry will remain unopened in its imported condition until it reaches the ultimate consumer.

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 Lawrence Mushinske at 212-466-5739.


Roger J. Silvestri

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