United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1998 NY Rulings > NY C83289 - NY C83344 > NY C83320

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY C83320

January 27, 1998

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:233 C83320


Mr. Doug Dreyfus
1234 S.E. 22nd Avenue
Ocala, FL 34471


Dear Mr. Dreyfus:

This is in response to your letter dated January 6, 1998 requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking for imported silver hoop and stud earrings is an acceptable country of origin marking. Marked samples were submitted with your letter for review.

The submitted samples consist of various styles of silver hoop and stud earrings. Each pair of hoop earrings is individually packed in a plastic bag. The bags are sealed by means of either a staple or a reclosable ziploc closure. Five pairs of the same design are packed in a larger plastic bag with a ziploc closure. Five pairs of stud earrings of the same design are packed in a plastic bag with a ziploc closure. All bags are marked with a sticker which read "MADE IN THAILAND 925 STG". Also enclosed are two types of display units which you supply to retailers. They are used to display multiple pairs of earrings and are marked "Sterling Silver Made in Thailand".

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.

Articles for which the marking of the containers will reasonably indicate their origin are excepted from individual marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and 19 C.F.R. 134.32(d). This exception applies only if the article in question is imported in a properly marked container and Customs is satisfied that the article will reach the ultimate purchaser in this original marked unopened container. As provided in 19 C.F.R 134.1(d), the ultimate purchaser is generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported.

The containers, the plastic bags, have either a staple or a reclosable top closure. Because the bags are not heat sealed at both ends, Customs has no assurance that the earrings will remain unopened in their imported condition until they reach the ultimate consumer. Accordingly, the samples do not satisfy Customs marking requirements. The country of origin marking on the display stands do not satisfy Customs marking requirements as the earrings, or their containers, must be marked. However, heat sealing the plastic bags at both ends would satisfy the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 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 Lawrence Mushinske at 212-466-5739.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling