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HQ 562067

July 23, 2001

MAR-2 RR:CR:SM 562067 KSG


Harold I. Loring, Esq.
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP 245 Park Avenue
33rd Floor
New York, NY 10167-3397

RE: Country of origin marking of containers for photocopying machine, computer printer, and multipurpose printer accessories

Dear Mr. Loring:

This is in response to your letter dated March 7, 2001, requesting a binding ruling on behalf of Kyocera Mita America, Inc., regarding the country of origin marking of disposable boxes used to import accessories for photocopying machines, computer printers, and multipurpose printers. We issued a previous binding ruling to you concerning the country of origin marking of imported photocopying machines, computer printers and multipurpose printers (HQ 561593, dated December 20, 2000).


Kyocera Mita America, Inc. (“Mita”) imports photocopying machine, computer printer, and multipurpose printer accessories (paper feed units, document feeders, auto stackers, duplex units, finishers, internal output trays, job separators, mail boxes, output feeders, roll units, and sorters).

You state that each accessory is individually marked to indicate its country of origin, generally by means of a metal plate permanently affixed to the back of the machine which legibly and conspicuously indicates origin. Photographs of some of the accessories and the metal plates with the country of origin were submitted for our review.

Customers purchase the accessories through a dealer. Dealers also provide potential purchasers the option of a trial use of the machines. The machines may be leased through a dealer or an independent leasing company. Some leases have an option to buy. The leasing company retains title to the machines.

You state that the purchaser will be able to view the product and the country of origin marked on the product either at the dealer show-room, at one of five regional offices located in the U.S., or on its own premises if the customer leases a machine. Once a machine is purchased, it is delivered and installed on the customer’s premises by the dealer with the accessories attached. You state that the shipping cartons for the accessories are removed by the dealer prior to installation, either at the dealer’s premises, in the delivery truck, or in some instances, at the purchaser’s premises during installation.


Whether the shipping cartons for the individually-marked imported accessories described above must be marked with the country of origin of their contents.


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.

Section 134.24(d)(2), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.24(d)(2)), states that:

Disposable containers or holders of imported merchandise, which are sold without normally being opened by the ultimate purchaser shall be marked to indicate the country of origin of their contents.

You argue that if the ultimate purchaser is unlikely to see or examine the container, either before or after the purchase is made, the container should not be required to be marked. You emphasize that a purchaser is unlikely to purchase one of the involved Mita machines with the accessories (e.g., printers and photocopiers) without carefully examining it (as with the purchase of an automobile) at the dealer’s showroom. You maintain that during this examination, the purchaser can see the country of origin on the accessory.

Based on the information you have provided, including the photographs, we agree that it is very likely that a purchaser of an article such as a photocopying machine or computer printer will examine the article itself and the accessories prior to purchase at the dealer’s showroom. Under these circumstances, we find that it is acceptable to mark only the accessory with its country of origin and not the shipping carton in which it is imported and delivered to the purchaser’s premises. We note in this regard that Customs has held that, in most instances, imported articles that are sold in stores as display models must be marked with their country of origin. See C.S.D. 90-81 and HRL 734499, dated June 19, 1992. Our finding in this case assumes that the country of origin on the accessories is legible and conspicuous as required by the statute.


Based on the facts presented, we find that the shipping cartons for the imported accessories need not be marked, assuming that the accessories themselves are properly marked with their country of origin and they are displayed at the dealer’s showrooms.

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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