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NY B89848

October 2, 1997

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:230 B89848


Mr. Reginald Williams
A.N. Deringer, Inc.
RR 3, Box 5400
Houlton, ME 04730


Dear Mr. Williams:

This is in response to your letter dated September 11, 1997, on behalf of your client, Atlantic Pressure Treating Ltd. (Fred-ericton, NB, Canada), requesting a ruling on the acceptability of proposed country of origin marking for various imported wood products. A sample of a printed label was submitted with your letter for review.

The label is a slip of flexible white plastic measuring 7/8" x 2 3/4", with black printing on one side. The printing on the right half of the available space consists of bold, 1/8-inch upper-case characters reading:


The left half of the label bears a brief product description (in lettering considerably smaller than the origin marking) accom-panied by a bar code.

Your client proposes to attach such labels to various pressure-treated wood products (lattice panels, porch posts, stair treads, balusters, post caps, moldings, fence panels, etc.) which will be individually offered for retail sale.

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.

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.

We find the sample label to be both legible and indelible. Assuming such labels are securely affixed to the imported wood products, in locations easily seen by prospective purchasers upon casual examination, the proposed marking will satisfy the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134, and will represent acceptable country of origin marking for the imported items.

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 Paul Garretto at (212) 466-5779.


Robert B. Swierupski

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