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NY C82627

December 31, 1998

MAR-2 RR:NC:TA:341 C82627


Mr. Roly Portal
H.L.M. Cargo Clearance Bkrs, Inc.
P.O.Box 652623
Miami, FL 33265-2623


Dear Mr. Portal:

This is in response to your letter dated December 10, 1997, on behalf of Excel Handbags Co., Inc., requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported shopping tote. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

The sample submitted, item 12107EHLM, is an open top, double handle shopping tote of clear PolyVinyl Chloride (PVC) plastic sheeting. The bag is unlined and measures approximately 12" x 10" x 5.5". The sample submitted is marked "Made in China" blind stamped into the pleated gusset with lettering approximately 0.25 inches high. The bag has a printed design in contrasting color on the front. Your sample is being returned as you requested. The shopping tote is classified within HTS 4202.92.4500, HTSUSA, which provides for travel, sports and similar bags, with outer surface of sheeting of plastic, other. The rate of duty will be 20 percent ad valorem. The rate of duty for 1998 will remain the sample.

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.

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 the imported shopping tote, as described above, the blind stamping does not satisfy the country of origin requirement of being as conspicuous, and legibly as the article will permit.

It is recommended that the article be marked in a contrasting color similar to the printed design on the front of the bag and in print size comparable to the blind stamp to be within compliance of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and CFR Part 134.

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 Kevin Gorman at 212-466-5893.


Robert B. Swierupski

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