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NY A80675

March 21, 1996

MAR-2-84:RR:NC:MA:104 A80675


Mr. Glenn R. Reichardt

Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP

1800 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.

2nd Floor

Washington, D.C. 20036-1800


Dear Mr. Reichardt:

This is in response to your letter dated February 20, 1996 on behalf of the importer, Sandvik Coromant Company ("Sandvik"), requesting a ruling on whether the proposed method of marking the containers in which the metalworking tools are imported with the country of origin in lieu of marking the articles themselves is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported metalworking tools. Marked sample containers (one of the plastic molded type/one cardboard box type) were submitted with your letter for review. Said samples will be returned to your office.

Section 134.42, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §134.42) provides that the marking of certain articles shall be by specific methods as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of Customs. Pursuant to this authority, in T.D. 74-122 and T.D. 84-214, special marking requirements for imported rotary metal cutting tools were imposed. Sandvik's line of imported merchandise includes a variety of industrial tools for milling, drilling, boring, and turning, as well as toolholding systems and accessories. You have advised this office that the tools covered by your ruling request do not rotate when they are used and are not of the rotary type. This ruling will be limited to metalworking tools that do not rotate when they are used. The general requirements of 19 U.S.C. §1304 and 19 C.F.R. Part 134 apply as these tools are outside the scope of the above cited decisions.

The tools in question are packaged in two types of containers. Tools such as the Coromant Hydro-Grip (model no. 50 MM-VF 060 CG20), a high precision chuck, are imported in containers that have been designed for that specific tool. In most instances, these containers are molded plastic cases or tubes. These containers bear Sandvik's brand name and include product information.

Other tools such as the Varilock Weldon shank adapter (model no. A391.20-38 63 090) are packed in appropriately sized cardboard boxes. In addition to bearing the Sandvik brand name and including product information, the tools packed in this type of container are normally wrapped in protective paper.

You indicate that Sandvik proposes to seal each container with shrink wrap or a comparable sealing method (e.g., use of heavy duty sealing tape) in order to ensure that the container will reach the ultimate purchaser unopened. Instead of individually marking each tool, the tool's sealed container will bear a permanently affixed and conspicuous label indicating the English name of the country of origin of that product.

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 C.F.R. Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. §1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d), defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the metalworking tool is the consumer who purchases the product at retail.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. §1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. Accordingly, if Customs is satisfied that the article will remain in its container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the metalworking tool by viewing the container in which it is packaged, the individual metalworking tool (other than rotary type) would be excepted from marking under this provision.

A metalworking tool (other than the rotary type) which is imported in a sealed container that is marked in the manner described above, is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. §1304 (a)(3)(D) and 19 C.F.R. §134.32(d). Accordingly, marking the container in which the metalworking tool (other than the rotary type) is imported and sold to the ultimate purchaser in lieu of marking article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported metalworking tool (other than the rotary type) provided the district director is satisfied that the article will remain in the marked container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser.

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 Robert Losche at 212-466-5670.


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