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January 26,

MAR-05 RR:TC:SM 560636 BLS


Ms. Florence Pianko
Advance Watch Co., Ltd.
25800 Sherwood
Warren, Michigan 48091

RE: Country of origin marking of watch movements; Additional U.S. Note 4(b),
Chapter 91; NY Ruling A84167

Dear Ms. Pianko:

This is in reference to your letter dated July 31, 1997, on behalf of Advance Watch Co., Ltd., requesting a ruling regarding the country of origin marking of certain clock movements. A sample movement is submitted with your request.


The movement is marked in a rectangular box on the outside housing, in molded, raised, lettering with the words: "QUARTZ", "NO JEWELS", "UNADJUSTED", "GAL-28."

It is also marked "ADVANCE" and "CHINA" in black ink (or paint) on the outside plastic surface of the movement housing.


Whether the movement is properly marked in compliance with Additional U.S. Note 4, Chapter 91, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


Additional U.S. Note 4, Chapter 91, HTSUS, ("Note 4") requires that any clock 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, or stamping or mold-marking (either indented or raised), as specified in the provisions of the Note. Section (b) of Note 4 requires that clock movements shall be marked on the most
visible part of the front or back plate to show the name of the country of manufacture; the name of the manufacturer or purchaser; and, in words, the number of jewels, if any, serving a mechanical purpose as frictional bearings. Since these special marking requirements for clocks are Congressionally enacted, and are mandatory, the Customs Service has no authority to grant exceptions. Section 134.43(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.43(b)), in conjunction with section 11.9 (19 CFR 11.9), provides that clocks must be marked in accordance with the special requirements of Note 4.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 559066 dated May 12, 1995, we held that printing on a clock case in ink did not satisfy the special marking requirements for clock cases because the marking was accomplished by a method other than those specified in Note 4. Under the special marking requirements, the methods of marking clock movements and clock cases are identical. See also HRL 734860 dated March 3, 1993 (marking on a gold foil sticker on the bottom of a clock case was not a method prescribed by the special marking requirements and the marking was not in a proper location) and HRL 559934 dated October 23, 1996 (marking with an adhesive sticker was not in accordance with the requirements of Note 4). However, in NY Ruling A84167 dated June 5, 1995, Customs ruled that marking stainless steel backs of certain clock cases with permanent indelible ink would be allowable. This ruling is inconsistent with Note 4, above, which permits the marking of clock cases and clock movements only by the prescribed statutory methods, and with the previously cited Customs rulings.

Accordingly, as applied to the subject movement, we find that the marking does not satisfy the special marking requirements for clock movements because it is not done by one of the methods specified in Note 4. Printing in ink (or painting) the country of origin on the clock movement is not considered an indelible mark, because unlike cutting, die-sinking, engraving, or stamping, it does not leaves a permanent impression in the metal of the clock case and may be smeared or wear off over time. As previously stated, Customs has no authority to grant an exception to the statutory marking requirements under Note 4.

In HRL 559998 dated January 30, 1997, we stated that the language of Note 4 clearly requires that the watch movement be marked with the number of jewels contained therein, which translates to one or more. Consequently, we held that Note 4 does not require any additional marking indicating the number of jewels where a movement has no jewels. Therefore, as the subject movement has no jewels, the marking "NO (0) JEWELS" is not required.


Marking a clock movement with the country of origin and name of the manufacturer by ink or paint does not comply with the special marking requirements for clock movements of U.S. Additional Note 4, Chapter 91, HTSUS. Under the special marking requirements, clock movements and cases are to be indelibly marked only by cutting, die-sinking, engraving, or stamping or mold-marking. NY Ruling A84167 is revoked in accordance with this decision.

Additional U.S. Note 4 requires that a watch movement be marked with the number of jewels contained therein, and does not require any additional marking, such as "NO (0) JEWELS" to reflect that the movement has no jewels.

A copy of this ruling should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Durant, Director

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