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NY D83575

October 22, 1998

CLA-2-49:RR:NC:SP:234 D83575


TARIFF NO.: 4911.10.0080

Mr. Tom Paciaffi
Coronet Brokers Corp.
PO Box 300764
Jamaica, NY 11430-0764

RE: The tariff classification of "pocket billboards" from China or Hong Kong.

Dear Mr. Paciaffi:

In your letter dated October 5, 1998, on behalf of Pocket Billboard Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A sample identified as a "pocket billboard" was submitted and is being returned to you as requested. It consists of a strip of paper, 3" wide by 28" long, fan-folded and affixed between two magnetized, credit-card-like covers which cling to one another. The paper, which can be unfolded and viewed by pulling the two covers apart, is printed on both sides with photos and information, said to be of a promotional nature, concerning a professional sports organization. Advertisements for related and unrelated products are also interspersed. Although you state that the printed content of the imported product will vary "depending on the advertiser," for the purposes of this ruling it is assumed that all versions will be essentially promotional in nature.

The applicable subheading for the "pocket billboards" will be 4911.10.0080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other (than certain enumerated) printed trade advertising material. The rate of duty will be free.

You also requested advice as to where the country of origin marking should be placed on the product. (Marking indicating foreign origin is not present on the submitted sample or its container, an unsealed cellophane sleeve.) In this connection, we note that the words "Manufactured by Pocket Billboard (R)," immediately followed by that firm's New York/U.S.A. address, appear at a few different locations on the item, including the inside of the front cover.

The current marking, if it were to remain unchanged on the imported product, would constitute a "false designation of origin," as contemplated by Section 11.13 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 11.13), and would render the articles subject to detention upon their arrival in the United States.

Bringing the items into compliance while retaining the existing wording would require adherence to Section 134.46 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 134.46). That is, the country of origin marking (e.g., "Made in China") would have to be placed in close proximity, and in lettering of at least a comparable size, to all occurrences of the current "Manufactured by...New York/U.S.A." wording. (Since this marking modification would still be potentially confusing, implying two places of manufacture, it would be preferable to use words like "Manufactured for...", or "Distributed by..." instead of the current "Manufactured by...".)

Alternatively, if the importer chooses to delete all references to its U.S. address, the product will then be subject to the general rule which requires the country of origin marking to appear in a conspicuous place, and to be legible and sufficiently permanent to reach the ultimate purchaser or recipient.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 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 Carl Abramowitz at 212-466-5733.


Robert B. Swierupski

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