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February 26, 1999

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:228 D87861


Ms. Nora Martin
UFL Foods Inc.
450 Superior Boulevard
Mississauga, Ontario Canada L5T 2R9


Dear Ms. Martin:

This is in response to your letter dated February 9, 1999, requesting a ruling on the country of origin marking for imported sausage seasonings. A sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

The imported product will consist of a dry blend of ingredients, put up in 85-gram pouches. The blend is composed of approximately 61 percent salt, 16 percent dextrose, 5 percent sugar, 5 percent black pepper, 4 percent monosodium glutamate, 2 percent chili pepper, and less than one percent each of red pepper, oil sage, oleoresin capsicum, oil clove, oleoresin celery, propyl gallate, citric acid, propylene glycol, durkex 500, BHA, oil black pepper, and aquaresin onion. One pouch of seasoning is used to prepare 10 pounds of sausage. The salt, dextrose, oil sage, aquaresin onion, propyl gallate, durkex 500, BHA, and chili pepper are products of the United States. The sugar and propylene glycol may be a product of the United States or Canada. The oleoresin capsicum and oleoresin celery may be from the United States or India. The oil clove could be a product of the United States or Indonesia. The origin of the citric acid may be the United States or Belgium. Monosodium glutamate may be a product of Korea, Japan, or Brazil. Black pepper is a good of India or Indonesia. The red pepper will originate in India or China, and oil black pepper is a product of India.

Two scenarios are presented in your letter. In the first, all ingredients will be blended in the United States, exported to Canada in bulk totes, and packaged by UFL Foods. In the second, UFL Foods will both blend and package the seasoning in Canada. 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 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.

The country of origin marking requirements for a "good of a NAFTA country" are also determined in accordance with Annex 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), as implemented by section 207 of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat 2057) (December 8, 1993) and the appropriate Customs Regulations. The Marking Rules used for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country are contained in Part 102, Customs Regulations. The marking requirements of these goods are set forth in Part 134, Customs Regulations.

Section 134.45(a)(2) of the regulations, provides that "a good of a NAFTA country may be marked with the name of the country of origin in English, French or Spanish. Section 134.1(g) of the regulations, defines a "good of a NAFTA country" as an article for which the country of origin is Canada, Mexico or the United States as determined under the NAFTA Marking Rules.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 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 CFR 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 CFR 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.

Applying the NAFTA Marking Rules set forth in Part 102 of the regulations to the facts of this case, we find that the imported sausage seasoning, when blended and packaged in Canada, is a good of a Canada for marking purposes.

The imported sausage seasoning, blended in the United States and packaged in Canada, is a good of the United States for marking purposes. Accordingly, it will not be required to have any country of origin marking pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304 when imported into the United States.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 181).

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 Stanley Hopard at 212-637-7065.


Robert B. Swierupski

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