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NY B88587

August 22, 1997

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:231 B88587


Ms. Colleen Scarbro
Action International, Inc.
P.O. Box 620366
Orlando, FL 32862-0366


Dear Ms. Scarbro:

This is in response to your letter dated, August 5, 1997, on behalf of your client, Express Seed Company, Oberlin, OH. You have requested a ruling on the country of origin marking of American seeds that will be shipped to Guatemala in large bags, repackaged into smaller bags, and then returned to the US. A sample of the seeds was not submitted with your letter for review.

Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 USC 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. must be marked 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, implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions to 19 USC 1304. As provided for in 19 CFR 134.1(b), "country of origin" means the country of manufacture, production, or growth of an article. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the "country of origin." A substantial transformation is said to occur if, after manufacture or processing, an article emerges having a new name, character, or use.

In this instance it is clear that the repackaging that is performed in Guatemala is not a process of manufacture which effects a substantial transformation. The seeds repackaged in Guatemala do not, therefore, lose their identity, and they remain a product of the U.S. Articles packaged in Guatemala are considered products of the U.S. and excepted from country of origin marking pursuant to 19 CFR 134.32(m). That regulation says:

134.32 General exceptions to marking requirements

The articles described or meeting the specified conditions set forth below are excepted from marking requirements

(m) Products of the United States exported and returned

The U.S. origin seeds are eligible to be imported free of duty pursuant to subheading 9801.00.1096, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for products of the United States when returned after having been exported, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad, other, other.

Additional requirements may be imposed on this product by the United States Department of Agriculture. You may contact the USDA at:

United States Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 1201 Corbin Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201

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 attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Ralph Conte at (212) 466-5759.


Gwenn Klein Kirschner
Chief, Special Products Branch

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