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NY D85813

December 22, 1998

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:234 D85813


Mr. Charles Heilpern
H & H Shipping Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 1796
Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 07632


Dear Mr. Heilpern:

This is in response to your letter dated December 7, 1998, on behalf of your clients, Cosmetics & Perfume Filling & Packing Inc. (Bloomfield, N.J.), and D & B Fragrances Inc. (location not stated), requesting a ruling on whether proposed country-of-origin marking of the outer containers in which certain packaging articles will be imported is acceptable in lieu of marking the articles themselves. Several sample packaging articles, not marked with their own origin, were submitted with your letter for review.

Some of the articles in question are small paperboard canisters (i.e., cardboard tubes with plastic or metal ends) designed to serve as retail packing boxes or holders for individual bottles of perfume. The canisters will be manufactured in Taiwan and imported empty into the United States, where they will be filled with bottles of U.S.-made perfume. The boxed bottles of perfume will then be exported to Europe for sale there. The submitted sample canisters are covered with plastic-coated paper bearing designs, brand names, logos and product information relating to the perfume. The phrase "Made in U.S.A.", again referring to the perfume, also appears on the canisters.

The remaining items in question are various other packaging components which also will be imported for use in the above-described scenario. They are described as rubber pieces and plastic pieces from India, plastic tubes and pumps from Italy, and glass bottles from Taiwan. Like the canisters, these items will become part of the finished, boxed units of perfume to be assembled here in the U.S. for export to Europe. The samples of these components do not appear to be marked with any origin information.

You state that whenever any of the paperboard canisters or other packaging components described above are imported into the United States, the outer (shipping) cartons in which they arrive will bear markings indicating the country of origin of said components (e.g., "Made in India" on cartons containing rubber and plastic pieces, "Made in Taiwan" on cartons containing paperboard canisters, etc.). You ask whether this outer-carton marking will suffice, and whether the phrase "Made in USA" on the individual canisters is allowable.

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 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 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.

In this case, your clients (assuming they are the importers of the instant goods and will fill/assemble them for export) will be the last persons in the U.S. who will receive the imported articles. Therefore, assuming that no one else in the U.S. will receive either the imported packaging components or the finished boxed units of perfume, your clients would be the ultimate purchasers.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 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 instant articles will remain in their containers until they reach the ultimate purchaser, and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the components by viewing the container in which they are packaged, the individual components would be excepted from marking under this provision.

Given the facts presented, we also find that the "Made in U.S.A." marking on the canisters is permissible, since the importer is aware of the circumstances involved and would not be deceived or misled by such marking.

To conclude, if the importer will certify to the Port Director at the time of entry that all of the imported packaging components will be exported after being filled, assembled, and/or repackaged with other goods, marking the country of origin on the original unopened outer containers in which the importer/repackager will receive the imported components will satisfy the country of origin marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

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 Carl Abramowitz at 212-466-5733.


Robert B. Swierupski

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