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NY E88484

October 15, 1999

MAR-2 RR:NC:TA:358 E88484


Mr. Carlos Halasz
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
The Waterford
5200 Blue Lagoon Drive
Miami, Florida 33126-2022


Dear Mr. Halasz:

This is in response to your letter dated October 5, 1999, on behalf of your client, The William Carter Company, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking of a girl’s knit, short sleeve pullover, your reference number 13377, is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported garment. A sample was submitted with your letter for review.

The garment at issue will have a fabric label sewn midway between the shoulder seams. The label, which is currently blank, is attached to the bottom of the interior sweat patch, a distance of about 2 and 7/8 inches below the shoulder seam neckline. The label measures about 1 inch wide and 1 and 5/8 inches in length. According to you, it will contain the country of origin, fiber contents and size information in equal size lettering, An additional fabric label measuring about 1 and ½ inches wide by ¾ inches in length, containing the brand name, will be attached at the same location, directly above this label. According to you, the brand label will not obscure the information written on the fabric label beneath it.

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.

Congressional intent in enacting 19 U.S.C. 1304 was "that the ultimate purchaser should be able to know by an inspection of the marking on the imported goods the country of which the goods is the product. The evident purpose is to mark the goods so that at the time of purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will." United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 297 at 302 (1940).

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, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41), requires that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. By a Customs Circular letter published as T.D. 54640(6), we held that on and after October 1, 1958, wearing apparel such as shirts, blouses, coats, sweaters, etc. must be legibly and conspicuously marked with the name of the country of origin by means of a fabric label sewn or otherwise permanently affixed on the inside center of the neck midway between the shoulder seams or in that immediate area or otherwise permanently marked in that area in some other manner.

The label on the sample must be affixed to the inside center of the neck midway between the shoulder seams or in that immediate area. The label on your sample is almost 3 inches below the neckline and is completely obscured from view and not visible to the ultimate purchaser. As such, your proposed marking does not comply with T.D. 54640(6) and is not acceptable for marking purposes. A marking that is not fully visible cannot be read without strain. In this instance, the country of origin marking is obscured because of its location significantly below the neckline. Therefore, the country of origin marking on the sample submitted would not satisfy 19 CFR 134.41.

The proposed marking of an imported girl’s knit pullover, reference number 13377, as described above, is not conspicuously, legibly and permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is not an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported apparel.

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 Bruce Kirschner at 212-637-7079.


Robert B. Swierupski

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