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NY B80486

January 14, 1997

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:233 B80486


Siobhan McDonald
Product Plus International Ltd.
Unit 9, South Bank Business Centre
Ponton Road
London SW8 5B1

RE: The country of origin marking of a wrist watch with movement made in Japan, watch assembled in China.

Dear Sirs:

This is in response to your letter dated December 16, 1996 requesting a ruling on whether the proposed markings are acceptable country of origin markings for watches. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

You state in your letter that the movement of the watch is manufactured in Japan. The watch is assembled in China with a watch case and strap, both made in China. You propose the following markings for the watch:

Outside the case back: Made for Mars, Incorporated SNICKERS is a reg. TM.
C MARS 1996
C 1994 ISL TM
China Case

Inside the case back: Japanese battery
Japanese movement
No Jewel

Watch Face: As your artwork

Watch strap: Genuine Leather
Made in China

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 imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or 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.

For purposes of Section 304, the country of origin of a watch is the same as the country of origin of its movement. This marking may be placed on the face of the dial or on the outside surface of the back cover of the watch case. An adhesive sticker may be used for the Section 304 marking so long as the sticker is affixed so securely that unless deliberately removed, it will remain on the watch while it is in storage or on display and until delivered to the ultimate purchaser. This marking is intended to enable the ultimate purchaser to make an informed purchase decision based on the country of origin.

The proposed marking does not meet Section 304 requirements. The watch must be marked "Japan" or Japan Movement" on the face of the dial or outside of the case back. The proposed marking for the watch strap is acceptable.

Additionally, the watch must be marked as required by the Special Marking Requirements of Chapter 91, Additional U.S. Note 4, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

Chapter 91 Additional U.S. Note 4 specifies that any movement or case, provided for in the subpart, whether imported separately or attached to any article provided for in the subpart, shall not be permitted to be entered unless conspicuously and indelibly marked by cutting, die-sinking, engraving, stamping or mold-marking (either indented or raised). This marking is mandatory. The Customs Service has no authority for granting exceptions to the special marking requirements for watches, which are as follows:

Watch movements shall be marked on one or more of the bridges or top plates to show:

(i) the name of the country of manufacture (of the movement); (ii) the name of the manufacturer or purchaser (of the movement); and (iii) in words, the number of jewels, if any, serving a mechanical purpose as frictional bearings.

Watch cases shall be marked on the inside or outside of the back to show:

(i) the name of the country of manufacture (of the watch case); and (ii) the name of the manufacturer (of the watch case) or purchaser.

The special marking must be accomplished by one of the methods specified in the Additional U.S. Note 4, and using stickers is not an acceptable alternative.

The proposed marking of the watch, as described above, does not meeting the special marking requirements for watch movements. The proposed marking does satisfy the special marking requirements for watch cases.

This ruling is being issued under provision 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.


Gwenn Klein Kirschner

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