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NY B84459

April 24, 1997

MAR-2-RR:NC:2:224 B84459


Sylvia Casas-Jolliffe
10030 Marconi Drive
Otay Mesa,
San Diego CA 92173-3255


Dear Ms. Casas-Jolliffe:

This is in response to your letter dated April 15, 1997, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking "Mexico" is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported golf club grips. Marked samples were submitted with your letter for review.

The merchandise consists of rubber grips measuring approximately 10 1/2 inches in length. These finished grips are intended for sale to consumers as replacements for their current golf club grips. The grips have your client's logo which is the symbol "L" and/or the tradename label "Lamkin" located on a front lower location of the grip or on the upper center of the grip. The butt cap of the grips has the marks "L," "Lamkin" or "Perma Wrap" or a combination of these marks. The sample grips have the country of origin mark "Mexico" molded into the outside lower edge of the grip material in approximately 5 point lettering.

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 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.

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. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

The proposed marking of imported golf club grips, as described above, is conspicuously, legibly and permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported grips. The grips have the country of origin marking on the lower edge of the grip. Although this is not the most conspicuous location, we find that it is sufficient to enable the ultimate purchaser to locate it. Customs has previously found that the bottom area of an item may be a conspicuous location. See HQ 734049 (June 17, 1991) where a cap on the case of a whisk broom was an acceptable location for a country of origin marking.

The mark "Mexico" without the words "made in" will be machine molded in the manufacture of the rubber grip in letters approximately 1/16 inch high. We find that the size of the print and the location is conspicuous and that the molding obviously meets the permanency requirement.

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 Div.

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