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NY G81961

September 1, 2000

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:233 G81961


Ms. Karen Quintana
New Wave Transport USA Inc.
2417 E. Carson Street #200
Long Beach, CA 90810


Dear Ms. Quintana:

This is in response to your letter dated August 16, 2000, on behalf of Autom Company, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed method of marking the outer bags in which pins are imported with the country of origin in lieu of marking the articles themselves is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported pins. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

You indicate that your client will import pins to adorn an individual’s clothing. Each pin will be affixed to a card for retail sale and for display purposes. There will be 20 pins on cards in one bag. Your client wishes to place the country of origin label on the outer bags that contain the 20 pins instead of on each retail card.

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 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 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. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the pin is the consumer who purchases the product at retail.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. Accordingly, if Customs is satisfied that the article will remain in its container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the pin by viewing the container in which it is packaged, the individual pin would be excepted from marking under this provision.

Pins which are imported in containers (outer bags) that are marked in the manner described above, are excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d). However, since each bag will contain 20 pins which will be removed from the outer bag for display and individual sale, the pins will not be marked to indicate to the ultimate purchaser the country of origin. Therefore, marking the outer bag in which the pins are imported and in lieu of marking the articles themselves is not an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported pins. Accordingly, each retail card must be marked individually with the country of origin.

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 Lawrence Mushinske at 212-637-7061.


Robert B. Swierupski

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