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NY E86766

October 8, 1999

MAR-2 RR:NC:1:112 E86766


Ms. Christina Escamilla
AEI Customs Brokerage Services
9060 Activity Road
San Diego, CA 92126


Dear Ms. Escamilla:

This is in response to your letter dated September 4, 1999, on behalf of Centurion International, requesting a ruling on the acceptable country of origin marking for imported battery packs. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

As indicated by the submitted information, nickel metal hydride battery cells from Japan are imported into the United States for subsequent exportation to Mexico and assembly with other components into finished battery packs. These packs are then imported into the U.S.

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.

Since battery cells are not substantially transformed when assembled into battery packs, the country of origin of the packs is considered to be the country of origin of the battery cells. Therefore, for purposes of the country of origin marking, the battery packs in question must be marked “Made in Japan” in order to satisfy the 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 David Curran at 212-637-7049.


Robert B. Swierupski

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