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NY C86766

May 8, 1998

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:233 C86766


Follick & Bessich
Attorneys at Law
One Exchange Place, Suite 915
Jersey City, NJ 07302


Dear Sirs:

This is in response to your letter dated April 14, 1998, on behalf of Sun Isle Casual Furniture, LLC, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking with a hang tag stating "Weatherware wicker engineered and made in America, Frame handcrafted and handwoven in China" is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported synthetic wicker outdoor furniture. A copy of the proposed hang tag was submitted with your letter for review.

The merchandise under consideration consists of various styles of outdoor furniture designed in the U.S. Each piece of furniture utilizes synthetic wicker made in the U.S. which is exported to China where it is handwoven onto metal frames which are made in China. The outer shipping carton of the imported merchandise will be marked with the proposed marking "Weatherware wicker engineered and made in America, Frame handcrafted and handwoven in China". In addition, a hang tag stating the aforementioned marking will be affixed to each piece of furniture.

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. When tags are used, they must be attached in a conspicuous place and in a manner which assures that unless deliberately removed they will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser (19 CFR 134.44 (c)).

19 CFR 134.46 provides: In any case in which the words "United States," or "American," the letters "U.S.A.," any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appear on an imported article or its container, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or other words of similar meaning.

The proposed marking of the furniture, by means of a hang tag as described above, will not be considered conspicuously and permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is not an acceptable country of origin marking method for the imported furniture. The hang tag must indicate that the furniture is made in China. Any statement concerning the Weatherware wicker having been made in America should comply with the provisions of 19 CFR 134.46 as noted above.

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

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