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NY B81782

February 7, 1997

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:224 B81782


Jim McNamara
Rudolph Miles & Sons
PO box 1388
McAllen TX 78502-1388


Dear Mr. McNamara:

This is in response to your letter dated January 24, 1997, on behalf of Stuart Entertainment, Inc., requesting a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements for imported bingo game card packs which are assembled from U.S. components in a NAFTA country. A sample was submitted with your letter for review.

Your client proposes to export into Mexico printed bingo sheets. These are thin paper sheets measuring approximately 25 by 24 inches and printed on one side in ink with various random numbers appearing within squares in rectangular grids. The grids are known as bingo cards and there are 36 such grids or bingo game cards printed on the sample sheet.

Bingo is a game played on a board of special design. The printed sheets represent the specially designed board needed to play the game. Printed bingo sheets such as these have been held classifiable in subheading 9504.90.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). See HQ 957126 dated January 20, 1995.

In Mexico, bingo game cards will be cut out from the master paper sheets and collated into bingo pads consisting of varying numbers of games. These pads will then be plastic wrapped in Mexico into groups of varying numbers of pads and these wrapped groups of pads will then be imported into the United States.

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.

The country of origin marking requirements for a "good of a NAFTA country" are also determined in accordance with Annex 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), as implemented by section 207 of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat 2057) (December 8, 1993) and the appropriate Customs Regulations. The Marking Rules used for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country are contained in Part 102, Customs Regulations. The marking requirements of these goods are set forth in Part 134, Customs Regulations.

Section 134.45(a)(2) of the regulations, provides that "a good of a NAFTA country may be marked with the name of the country of origin in English, French or Spanish. Section 134.1(g) of the regulations, defines a "good of a NAFTA country" as an article for which the country of origin is Canada, Mexico or the United States as determined under the NAFTA Marking Rules.

In this case, you state that U.S. component materials are exported to a NAFTA country where they are assembled prior to being re-imported into the U.S.

The rules for determining when, for marking purposes, the country of origin of an imported good is one of the parties to "NAFTA" are set forth in Part 102, Customs Regulations.

Part 102 of the regulations, sets forth the "NAFTA Marking Rules" for purposes of determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country for marking purposes. Section 102.11 of the regulations, sets forth the required hierarchy for determining country of origin for marking purposes.

Following the hierarchy of section 102.11, we can make no country of origin determination based on an analysis of sections 102.11(a)(1), (a)(2) or (a)(3). The analysis would have to continue with section 102.11(b) of the regulations which instructs us to examine the article's essential character to determine its country of origin.

Section 102.11(b) provides that where the country of origin cannot be determined under section 102.11(a), and the good is not specifically designated as a set pursuant to the Harmonized System nor classified as a set under General Rules of Interpretation 3, the country of origin of the article is "the country or countries of origin of the single material that imparts the essential character of the good..." In this case, the U.S.-origin paper is the component that is the essential character of the finished product. Applying the NAFTA Marking Rules set forth in Part 102 of the regulations to the facts of this case, we find that imported pads of bingo game sheets are goods of the United States for marking purposes. Accordingly, they will not be required to have any country of origin marking pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304 when imported into the United States.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 181).

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 Tom McKenna at 212-466-5475.


Gwenn Klein Kirschner
Chief, Special Products Branch

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