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NY B88600

September 3, 1997

MAR-2 RR:NC:90:114 B88600


Mr. Jonathan M. Cate
Jonathan Cate Eyewear
Two Denver Plaza
Denver, NC 28037


Dear Mr. Cate:

This is in response to your letters dated July 30, 1997 and August 19, 1997 requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported eyeglass frames and matching clip-on sunglasses. Samples were submitted with your letter.

You state in your letter of August 19, 1997 that you are purchasing wire frame sub-assemblies from Germany, silicone nose pads from Italy, and CR39 UV400 lens blanks from Italy. The components are shipped to China where the wire rims are electroplated in the correct color and coated with a special non-allergic coating. The nose pads are then attached to the frame. The lens blanks are cut to the correct size and shape for the clip-on sunglasses and inserted into the clip-on frame. The eyeglass frame and clip-on sunglasses are then packaged and shipped. The submitted sample has the markings "Jonathan Cate" and "China" printed in contrasting color on the temple tip. In your letter dated July 30, 1997, you propose removing the marking "China" from the temple tip and marking the eyeglass frame and matching clip-on sunglass on the plastic wrapper in which they are packaged.

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.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture.

Eyeglass frames are required to be marked with the country of origin in the following manner: "Frame Made in (Country of Origin)" or "Frame--(Country of Origin)"; this marking must be accomplished by die stamping in a contrasting color, by raised lettering, by engraving, or by some other method producing a permanent mark. Imported eyeglass frames marked by means of ink stamping, tagging with adhesive labels, or any other impermanent form of marking which permits the mark to be smudged, blurred or otherwise easily obliterated or removed, are not considered to be acceptably marked as to country of origin for purposes of section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930.

The marking of the country of origin on the temple tip with the word "China" is not an acceptable form of marking for the eyeglass frames. Your proposed marking of the plastic wrapper in which the eyeglass frame and matching clip-on sunglass are packaged is not an acceptable form of marking for these goods.

We require additional information regarding the processing of the frames in China. The finished sample which you furnished to this office is model G19746, which is a metal frame. You indicate that the unfinished metal frame is shipped from Germany to China for electroplating, coating and assembly. Your exhibit marked A is an unfinished metal frame with plastic temple tips. Are you stating that this frame is electroplated and coated in China with the temple tips in place? Please explain, in detail, the processing that occurs in China in order to produce the finished metal frame and matching clip-on sunglass. Also, do you produce plastic frames in China? If so, provide a complete statement regarding the processing that occurs in China to produce the plastic frames. When you obtain this information, you may resubmit your request. The samples that you furnished to this office are being retained.

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 Barbara Kiefer at 212-466-5685.


Robert Swierupski
Chief, Metals and Machinery Branch

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