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NY F82417

February 10, 2000

MAR-2 RR:NC:3:353 F82417


Mr. Edward N. Jordan
Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. 5200 W. Century Blvd.
6th floor
Los Angeles, CA 90045


Dear Mr. Jordan:

This is in response to your letter dated January 27, 2000, on behalf of Uni Hosiery Co., requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking “Made in Pakistan” is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported socks if another marking "USA” and an American flag appear on the article. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

The submitted sample is crew socks made from knit 80% ring spun cotton/20% polyester fabric. Each sock has the term “USA” and a representation of the American flag on the legging. The socks will be packaged in a cellophane enclosed three-pack with a paper insert that wraps around three pairs of socks. The socks' country of origin is Pakistan.

Printed on one side of the paper insert are a photograph of the socks with a sport shoe, the name of the socks, the size information, and a brief description of the socks. Printed on the reverse side of the paper insert are the material construction information, the country of origin marking, the item number, the UPC code, the Federal Trade Commission washing and drying instructions and symbols, and a cotton symbol.

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.

Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), deals with cases in which the words “United States,” or “American,” the letters “U.S.A.,” any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appears on an imported article or its container, and those words, letters or names may mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser as to the actual country of origin. In such a case, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters, or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," Product of," or other words of similar meaning.

The issue is whether the socks, marked as described above, satisfy 19 CFR 134.46. Customs has held on numerous occasions that the term “USA” used in circumstances like that outlined above is a symbol or decoration; it has also ruled that the a representation of the American flag used in similar circumstances is likewise considered a symbol or decoration. The printed term “USA” and the representation of the American flag will not reasonably be construed as indicating the country of origin of the article on which it appears. Therefore, the requirements of 19 CFR 134.46 are not applicable.

The typical consumer would readily notice the country of origin marking on the paper insert in the location on the sample. The lettering is of sufficient size to be conspicuous so that the ultimate purchaser would be able to read the marking easily and without strain. The proposed marking meets the requirements of 19 CFR 134.11 and 134.41.

The proposed marking of the imported socks, as described above, satisfies 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 socks.

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 Kenneth Reidlinger at 212-637-7084.


Robert B. Swierupski

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