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NY C80514

December 29, 1998

MAR-2 RR:NC:TA:354 C80514


Mr. Donald J. Ungar
Mr. David M. Dunbar
Barnes Richardson & Colburn
200 East Randolph Drive
Suite 7920
Chicago, Il. 60601


Dear Mr. Ungar & Mr. Dunbar:

This is in response to your letter dated October 3, 1997, on behalf of North Safety Products, (North) 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, North plans to import 70% cotton 30% acrylic string knit gloves from South Korea. At North's U. S. factory the glove shells are fully coated (except for a portion of the cuffs) with synthetic nitrile rubber. According to your submission this coating will cover the top, bottom and sides of the glove. This coating is intended to increase the life of the gloves and which you assert are intended for use in assembly operations, shipping and receiving, maintenance and general plant use.

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.

North does not sell the string knit glove shells in their imported condition. All are further processed into industrial work gloves for resale through distributors.

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 our opinion, the imported glove shells are transformed as a result of the U.S. coating process, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer, Best, is the ultimate purchaser of the Korean glove shells and an exception to the marking requirements may be applicable. Under 19 CFR 134.35 the imported string knit glove shells may be excepted from individual country of origin marking provided the outermost containers of the imported article are properly marked and the Port Director of Customs at the port of entry is satisfied that will only used in the transformation process asserted.

Additionally, we advise that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has jurisdiction concerning the proper marking (for Textile Fiber Identification and for origin) of the finished industrial work gloves; 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.


Robert B. Swierupski

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