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NY A81843

April 4,1996

MAR-2 RR:NC:FC:236 A81843


Mr. Bo G. Grektorp

Amenitique Inc.

5402 Beaumont Center Blvd, Suite 103

Tampa, Florida 33634


Dear Mr. Grektorp:

This is in response to your letter dated February 22, 1996 requesting a ruling on whether the country of origin marking is required of giveaway personal care hotel items. Samples were submitted with your letter for review.

Your inquiry concerns the marking requirements for personal care products given to clients staying at hotels. The products consist of Shower Cap, Emeryboard and Shoe Horn. The products are packaged for one or two applications.

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. The "ultimate purchaser" of an imported article is broadly defined in 19 U.S.C. §1304(a) as the last person in the United States who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. It is not feasible to state who will be the ultimate purchaser in every circumstance however if the imported article is distributed as a gift or giveaway the recipient is the ultimate purchaser.

In the case of various kinds of giveaway article, it is required that such articles be individually marked to indicate the country of origin, as the donee is deemed to be the "ultimate purchaser" of the article within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. §1304(a).

An exception to the country of origin marking requirements cannot be granted in this situation, as this office is of the opinion that the subject personal care products appear to be giveaway products. Accordingly, the personal care products will have to be individually marked, as we have ruled that the ultimate purchaser of giveaway personal care products is the recipient of the articles.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §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 C.F.R. §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 C.F.R. §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.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 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 V. Gualario at 212-466-5744.


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