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NY D85638

December 17, 1998

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:232 D85638


Mr. Aaron Zaris
Harris Freeman Co., Inc.
933 Hylton Road
Pennsauken, N.J. 08110


Dear Mr. Zaris:

This is in response to your letter dated December 7, 1998 requesting a ruling on the acceptable country of origin marking for imported tea from India. An unmarked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

You indicate that the subject merchandise is a black tea produced in India, where it is also blended and packaged. The tea will be packaged in cardboard boxes holding either 100, 48 or 16 tea bags per box. The tea will be imported in cases holding 12 or 24 boxes.

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.

On October 11, 1996, the President signed the Miscellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act of 1996. Section 14 of the Act amended the country of origin marking statute (19 U.S.C. 1304) to exempt imports of certain specified coffee, tea and spices from the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a) and (b). As a result neither the imported products nor their containers are required to be marked with the foreign country of origin. This statutory exemption is effective for goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after October 11, 1996. The black tea, which is classified in subheading 0902.30.00, HTS, is among the products which have been included in this statutory marking exemption. Therefore, neither the tea nor its container is required to be marked with the foreign country of origin.

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 John Maria at 212-466-5730.


Robert B. Swierupski

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