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HQ 562161

November 27, 2001

MAR-2 RR:CR:SM 562161 KSG


Bradley M. Clement
Pacific Bindery
870 West Kent Avenue
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6P 6Y6

RE: Country of origin marking of annual report, pocket books, catalogs, promotional brochures; 19 CFR 134.32(m); 102.11(b)

Dear Mr. Clement:

This is in response to your letter of May 22, 2001, requesting a ruling regarding the country of origin marking of bound annual reports, corporate brochures or newsletters, and catalogs.


Pacific Bindery Services Ltd., a trade bindery located in Canada, receives printed sheets from the U.S. that are bound in Canada into annual reports, pocket books, catalogs, and promotional brochures. The finished printed materials would be imported into the U.S.

Pacific Bindery offers three types of binding: 1) perfect binding, where an adhesive is used to bind the sheets and cover of a book together; 2) stitching, where the sheets and cover of a book are held together with staples; and 3) coil binding, where the sheets and cover of a book have holes punched into them and are then bound together using either a plastic or wire coil.

The U.S. printers usually precut and prefold the printed sheets before they are bound. In Canada, for perfect bound and stitched books, the folded sheets are then placed on a machine that gathers the sheets and cover, binds them together (with either adhesive or staples) and trims the book to its final size. The entire process is done on one machine.

For coil bound books, the folded sheets are first placed on a machine in Canada that gathers and trims them, a second machine punches holes into them, and a third machine inserts the coil into the book.

The printed materials are then imported into the U.S.


What are the country of origin marking requirements for the imported bound printed materials?


Section 304 of the 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. Congressional intent in enacting 19 U.S.C. 1304 was “that the ultimate purchaser should be able to know by an inspection of the marking on the imported goods the country of which the goods is the product. The evident purpose is to mark the goods so that at the time of purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will.” United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 297 at 302; C.A.D. 104 (1940). Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Pursuant to 19 CFR 134.32(m), products of the United States exported and returned are excepted from country of origin marking.

Section 102.11, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 102.11), sets forth the required hierarchy for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country for the purposes of country of origin marking and determining the rate of duty and staging category applicable to a NAFTA originating good as set out in Annex 302.2. Paragraph (a) of this section states that the country of origin of a good is the country in which:

(1) The good is wholly obtained or produced;

(2) The good is produced exclusively from domestic materials; or

(3) Each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in section 102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section, and all other applicable requirements of these rules are satisfied.

Based on the facts presented, it appears that the printed materials would be classified in heading 4901, of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS") which provides as follows: "Printed books, brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter, whether or not in single sheets."

Pursuant to 19 CFR 102.20(j), the tariff shift rule for Chapter 49 is as follows:

4901-4911 A change to heading 4901 through 4911 from any other heading, including another heading within that group.

If the printed materials are classified in this subheading, there would not be a change to another heading, since single sheets are included in heading 4901.

Since no tariff shift occurs under 19 CFR 102.11(a)(3), pursuant to the hierarchical rules, we proceed to 19 CFR 102.11(b). Section 102.11(b) provides:

Except for a good that is specifically described in the Harmonized System as a set, or is classified as a set pursuant to General Rule of Interpretation 3, where the country of origin cannot be determined under paragraph (a), (1)the country of origin of the good is the country or countries of origin of the single material that imparts the essential character to the good....

In this case, the printed paper is the single material that imparts the essential character to the good. Accordingly, pursuant to 19 CFR 102.11(b), the imported printed materials are considered a product of the United States. The bound printed materials are excepted from country of origin marking pursuant to 19 CFR 134.32(m) as a product of the U.S. exported and returned.


Pursuant to 19 CFR 102.11(b), the country of origin of the bound printed material is the U.S. The bound printed materials are excepted from country of origin marking pursuant to 19 CFR 134.32(m) as a product of the U.S. exported and returned.

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

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