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NY F88874

July 27, 2000

MAR-2 RR:NC:3:353 F88874


Mr. Tony Collini
John S. Conner, Inc.
The World Trade Center
401 E. Pratt Street
Suite 700
Baltimore, MD 21202


Dear Mr. Collini:

This is in response to your letter dated June 28, 2000, on behalf of Feng Shui, Inc. d.b.a. Harley Chappell Leather Design, regarding a reversible leather jacket. In your letter you request a ruling on the classification and whether the proposed use of a label secured in the pocket is an acceptable country of origin marking for an imported reversible leather jacket. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review; this office was supplied with sample swatches of the leather and photographs of the garment.

The Style 4320 Men’s Reversible Leather Jacket is constructed of goat skin leather on both sides; one side is the top grain side and the other side has been sanded to a suede nap. Each side of the jacket features a full front snap closure, two below the chest pockets, and ribbed knit collar, sleeve cuffs and waist.

The applicable subheading for the Style 4320 Men’s Reversible Leather Jacket will be 4203.10.4030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, of leather or of composition leather: Articles of apparel: Other, Coats and jackets: Other: Men's and boys'.” The rate of duty will be 6% ad valorem

In addition, since the jacket is reversible, you ask whether it is acceptable for the country of origin label to be sewn to the inside seam of the pocket.

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.

In T.D. 54640(6), Customs determined that, to be conspicuous, the country of origin marking of wearing apparel such as shirts, blouses and sweaters must be accomplished by means of a fabric label or label made from natural or synthetic film 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 in order to be conspicuous within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. §1304. In addition, in T.D. 55015(4) (1960), Customs stated that labels bearing the required marking looped around the hanger of reversible garments such as coats, jackets, and sweaters with the two label ends firmly stitched together is an acceptable form of marking, thus, extending the rule of T.D. 54640(6).

Since the jackets are reversible, a sewn-in-label at the neck is not required. However, the method of marking must be legible, conspicuous and permanent. The sewn-in label attached to the inside pocket of the reversible jacket does not satisfy the conspicuousness requirement of 19 C.F.R. §134.41(b). The sewn-in label is not easily noticeable from a casual inspection of the article. The inside of a pocket is not a location where an ultimate purchaser would expect to find a country of origin marking for this type of article. Also, in order to find the sewn-in label an ultimate purchaser would first need to have the jacket turned to the correct side and then find the inside of the particular pocket that contains the label to locate the label. The ultimate purchaser cannot easily find the origin information during a casual examination of the jacket. Accordingly, the label that is sewn to the inside seam of the pocket does not satisfy the conspicuousness requirement of 19 C.F.R. §134.41(b).

However, the additional marking of the reversible jacket by means of a cardboard hangtag affixed with a plastic anchor in an area such as the neck area or zipper would be an acceptable method of marking the jacket provided the hangtag is legibly, conspicuously and permanently marked in accordance with 19 U.S.C. §1304 and 19 C.F.R. Part 134. The label that is sewn to the inside seam of the pocket, by itself, is unacceptable.

To summarize, since the imported jacket is reversible, it is not required to be marked by means of a sewn-in label affixed to the neck mid-way between the shoulder seams. Merely marking the jacket with only a sewn-in label inside the pocket does not satisfy the conspicuousness requirement of 19 C.F.R. §134.41. However, an additional country of origin statement on a cardboard hangtag secured to the jacket by means of a plastic anchor is acceptable provided the hangtag is legible, conspicuous, and permanently marked in accordance with 19 U.S.C. §1304 and 19 C.F.R. 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 Kenneth Reidlinger at 212-637-7084.


Robert B. Swierupski

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