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April 23, 1999

CLA-2 RR:NC:TA:341 E80386


TARIFF NO: 4202.12.2020

Mr. Ruby L. Wood
Evans and Wood & Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 610005
DFW Airport, TX 75261

RE: The tariff classification and marking of carrying cases of molded plastics from Italy.

Dear Mr. Wood:

In your letter dated April 2, 1999, on behalf of The Container Store of Dallas, Texas, you requested a classification and marking ruling for carrying cases of molded plastics.

The samples submitted, identified as style numbers SB1 and SB2, described as “Club Cases”, are specially shaped and fitted carrying cases for personal effects or other articles. The cases are manufactured of plastics, with carry handles and closures of plastics. Their size ranges from approximately 9" x 11" x 3 1/2" to 13" x 15" x 3 1/2". Your samples are being returned as requested.

The cases are marked by means of a “blind stamp” on the top exterior which is not legible.

The applicable subheading for the carrying cases of molded plastics will be 4202.12.2020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for trunks, suitcases, vanity cases..., and similar containers, other, with outer surface of plastics, structured rigid on all sides. The rate of duty will be 20 percent ad valorem.

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 of the imported carrying cases, as described above, by means of a “blind stamp” is not legible. We suggest that the country of origin be shown in contrasting color to be as legibly marked as the article will permit and in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134.

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 Kevin Gorman at 212-637-7091.


Robert B. Swierupski

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