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NY F81622

February 8, 2000

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:SP:222 F81622


TARIFF NO.: 9505.10.2500

Ms. Diana J. Murphy
Keer-Hays Company
P. O. Box 711
Ligonier, PA 15658

RE: The tariff classification of a Teepee Christmas tree ornament from Hong Kong, China or Taiwan.

Dear Ms. Murphy:

In your letter dated January 5, 2000, you requested a classification ruling.

The submitted sample is an acrylic Teepee shaped Christmas tree ornament. The ornament depicts Indian figures of a mother and child in a teepee. The teepee is designed to appear as if the front were opened. The words “Unto Us A Child Is Born” are inscribed on the front near the bottom of the ornament. The ornament has a small hole with a string attached for the purpose of hanging the ornament on a Christmas tree.

Your letter states that this ornament will be given away as a free gift to those who make donations to the religious organization to which you are selling the ornament. You ask if the individual article must be marked with the country of origin and whether the ornament may be given to the ultimate recipient in an envelope marked "Made in Taiwan." A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

The applicable subheading for the Christmas tree ornament will be 9505.10.2500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides forarticles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof: Christmas ornaments: other, other. The rate of duty will be free.

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.

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. §1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d), defines the ultimate purchaser, as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. Section 134.1 (d)(4) indicates that if the imported article is distributed as a gift the recipient is the "ultimate purchaser". Consequently, although the nativity scene may be given away free of charge under the Customs regulations the recipient of the nativity scene, would be considered the ultimate purchaser. Therefore, the nativity scenes must be marked permanently, legibly and conspicuously, to indicate the country of origin to their recipient.

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 white envelope that contains the imported Christmas tree ornament, if the envelope is sealed so that it will reach the ultimate purchaser, is conspicuously, legibly and permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported item.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 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 Alice Masterson at 212-637-7090.


Robert B. Swierupski

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