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March 23, 1999

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:227 D89004


Ms. Lauren E. Hong
The Disney Store, Inc.
101 No. Brand Blvd., Ste. 1000
Glendale, CA 91203-2671

RE: The country of origin marking of flashlights with key chains exported to China for attaching PVC huggers.

Dear Ms. Hong:

This is in response to your letter dated March 5, 1999, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking “Made in China” on the PVC hugger is an acceptable country of origin marking for the subject merchandise. A marked sample, which is being returned as requested, was submitted with your letter for review.

The samples submitted are composite articles which consist of small plastic cylindrical-shaped flashlights with key chains that measure approximately 3 1/4 inches long. Affixed to these flashlights are PVC huggers in the shape of the “Tigger,” the “Pooh,” and the “Piglet.” The torch light is activated in depressing its bottom rod-shaped mechanism that contains an opening for the insertion of the key chain.

It is stated that the flashlights with key chains will be produced in the United States and then shipped to China where the PVC hugger-like figurines will be affixed to the U.S. products by means of gluing. After this operation, they will be imported into the United States with the PVC huggers marked “Made in China” on the posterior with the print size being nearly 1/16 inch high.

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.

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.

The proposed marking, as described above, is neither conspicuously nor legibly marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is therefore not an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported merchandise. The PVC huggers, originating in China, would have to be marked “Made in China” in accordance with the above regulations (noting that this marking should not obscure the fact that the flashlights with key chains are of U.S. origin and should indicate same to avoid any misconstruction).

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 George Kalkines at 212-637-7073.


Robert B. Swierupski

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