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NY G80787

September 22, 2000

MAR-2 RR:NC:TAB:354 G80787


Ms. Carrie Samuel
Fritz Companies, Inc.
2335 West Sunset
Springfield, Missouri 65807

RE: The Country of Origin Marking – Leather Baseball Glove and Component Parts; 19 C.F.R. Part 134.34

Dear Ms. Samuel:

This is in response to your letter dated August 22, 2000, on behalf of Rawlings Sporting Goods Co., Inc. In your letter, you request a ruling the marking of imported leather glove parts and whether the proposed marking "Made in USA" is an acceptable marking for the completed glove. The samples and marked hangtags submitted with your letter will be returned.

According to your submission, Rawlings proposes to import various baseball glove parts and transform the pieces into completed catcher’s mitts to be identified as PROCM20. The parts consist of leather pieces, felt padding/lining and red fabric labels embroidered in white script, one with Rawlings® Est. 1887 the other with R®. The leather pieces are split, cut and stamped offshore. In one scenario the felt padding/liner is made offshore, in the second scenario the felt padding is made in the U.S.A. You have provided a detailed 32-step operation list that demonstrates the complex process used to manufacture the finished glove. Additionally, two heavy paper hangtags were submitted. The first is folded with information on four sides and measures 3-1/2” x 5”. The following wording appears on the front:

The second label is slightly smaller and shaped like a baseball diamond with the top portion (2nd base) extended into a rectangle. On the gold colored side the following appears:

On the reverse side at the bottom of the diamond is:* MADE IN * U.S.A.
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.

"Country of origin" is defined in section 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §134.1(b)), as:

The country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the "country of origin" within the meaning of this part.

In determining whether the processing operations constitute a substantial transformation, the issue is the extent of operations performed and whether the parts lose their identity and become an integral part of the new article. Where, as here, the imported glove parts are subjected to a series of complex operations by which the individual parts are assembled into a finished glove, the U.S. assembly operations are sufficient to effect a substantial transformation. Consequently, the U.S. processor is the “ultimate purchaser,” of the imported parts. Accordingly, upon importation into the U.S., these parts are exempt from individual marking and only the outermost container of these parts must be marked with the country of origin.

Section 134.1(d), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §134.1(d)), provides that the “ultimate purchaser” is generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. If an imported article will be used in manufacture, the manufacturer may be the ultimate purchaser if he subjects the imported article to a process, which results an article having a name, character, or use differing from that of the imported article. In that situation the outermost container of the imported article must be marked with the article’s origin. See section 134.35, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §134.35), Articles substantially changed by manufacture.

Section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §134.32(d)), exempts from the marking requirements those foreign parts for which the container will reasonably indicate the origin of the articles, for example MADE IN THE PHILIPPINES. Therefore, provided the glove components are imported in properly marked containers and the Director at the port of entry is satisfied that this carton will reach your company intact and that the parts will be used only in the manner discussed in this ruling the components are not required to be individually marked at the time of importation.

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has jurisdiction concerning the use of the phrase “MADE IN THE USA.” or similar words denoting U.S. origin. Consequently, any inquiries regarding the use of such phrases reflecting U.S. origin should be directed to the FTC, at the following address Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room 172 , 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

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 Brian Burtnik at 212-637-7083.


Robert B. Swierupski

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