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NY A87931

October 30, 1996

MAR-2 RR:NC:WA:354 A87931


Mr. Everett W. Gee III
Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice
Suite 700
1275 Peachtree Street, N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309-3574


Dear Mr. Gee:

This is in response to your letter dated September 23, 1996, on behalf of Best Manufacturing Company (Best), requesting a ruling on whether imported gloves are required to be individually marked with the country of origin if it is later to be processed in the U.S. by a U.S. manufacturer. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

According to your submission, Best's United States facilities manufacture fabric which they then cut into glove parts. The parts are then shipped to Guatemala to be sewn together into glove shells and turned. The sewn and turned glove shells are then shipped back to Best in the United States. At Best's facilities the glove shells are dipped/coated with plastic or rubber compounds and cured in gas ovens. The gloves are then cut to proper length, inspected and 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.

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. Section 134.1(d), defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. 19 CFR 134.1(d)(1) states that if an imported article will be used in manufacture, the manufacturer may be the ultimate purchaser if he subjects the imported article to a process which results in a substantial transformation of the article. The case of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98) (1940), provides that an article used in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article will be considered substantially transformed and that the manufacturer or processor will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the constituent materials. In such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked. See, 19 CFR 134.35.

In this case, the imported glove shells are substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer, Best, is the ultimate purchaser of the imported glove shells and under 19 CFR 134.35 only the containers which reach the ultimate purchaser are required to be marked with the country of origin.

Regarding the question of the proper country of origin marking for the finished products (coated gloves), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has jurisdiction concerning the marking (Made in America) of such goods; consequently, any inquiries on that subject should be directed to the FTC. You should contact the Federal Trade Commission, Division of Enforcement, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20580, for information on the applicability of these requirements to this item. 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 Brian Burtnik at 212-466-5880.


Roger J. Silvestri

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