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HQ 561935

December 28, 2000

MAR-2 RR:CR:SM 561935 KSG


Creighton R. Moeller
Avalanche Snack Group
217 Hillcrest Circle
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514

RE: Country of origin marking of gummy candy; display boxes

Dear Mr. Moeller:

This is in response to your letter of October 31, 2000, requesting a binding ruling regarding the country of origin marking of imported gummy candy. A sample was provided for our examination.


The gummy candy will be made in Thailand. The gummy candy is shaped to look like a very small hamburger. Each piece of candy is enclosed within a clear sealed double plastic wrap. You state that the candy will be placed in display boxes that contain 24 individually wrapped pieces. You plan to list the country of origin marking and required consumer information: net weight; ingredients; nutritional facts; and information about the company on the side of the display box.

You ask if the country of origin marking must be printed on the plastic wrap covering each gummy candy.


What is the proper country of origin marking for the imported gummy candy, as described above.


Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1304), as amended, provides that unless excepted, every article of foreign origin 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 of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

The container exception normally applies when the outermost container in which the good is imported is the container in which the article ordinarily reaches the ultimate purchaser. See 19 CFR 134.22. The term “ultimate purchaser” is defined in 19 CFR 134.1(d) as “generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported.”

In Headquarters Ruling Letter 559748, dated June 12, 1996, Customs ruled on imported cigars that were individually wrapped and packaged in boxes. The boxes were marked with the country of origin on the bottom of the box. Customs held that the wrapping of the individual cigar represented the cigar’s container and to the extent that the imported cigars were removed from the marked containers in which the cigars are imported (the box), the wrappers on the cigars were required to be marked.

In this case, the ultimate purchaser is the consumer who purchases the gummy candy. The ultimate purchaser will receive the candy in the sealed plastic container, which may or may not be in the display box at the point of purchase. Consistent with the ruling cited above, each piece of candy must be marked to indicate the country of origin on the plastic wrap.


The country of origin of the imported gummy candy must be marked on the plastic wrap of each individual piece.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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