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NY C87637

June 4, 1998

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:230 C87637


Ms. Kathryn Ehrhorn
The San Pedro Mesquite Company
HC1 Box 417
Cascabel Road
Benson, AZ 85602


Dear Ms. Ehrhorn:

This is in response to your letter dated May 8, 1998 requesting a ruling on whether the proposed method of marking the container in which the hardwood flooring is imported with the country of origin in lieu of marking the article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported flooring.

In your letter and in a subsequent telephone conversation, you described the merchandise being imported as solid wood strips approximately 3 inches wide, 1/2 inch thick and varying from 2 to 4 feet in length. The species of wood is a hardwood (Prosopsis spp.) indigenous to Argentina. The strips have been kiln dried and tongued and grooved on the edges and ends. The flooring will be bundled in cubic meter sizes, shrink-wrapped in plastic and boxed. The ultimate purchasers will be contractors who put in floors. You propose to mark each cube with a label stating "Made in Argentina" rather than each individual piece.

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. Section 134.33, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.33), lists certain articles designated as "J-List exceptions." Flooring, not further manufactured than planed, tongued and grooved is included in the J-List. Articles included in the J-List are excepted from the requirements of country of origin marking in accordance with the provisions of section 304(a)(3)(J), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C.

Accordingly, the flooring strips being imported are excepted from individual marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(J). Your proposed marking of the container in which the flooring strips are imported and sold to the ultimate purchaser in lieu of marking the article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported flooring.

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 Paul Garretto at 212-466-5779.


Robert B. Swierupski

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