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NY G84014

December 7, 2000

MAR-2 RR:NC:TA:360 G84014


William Ortiz
S.J. Stile Associates Ltd.
181 South Franklin Ave.
Valley stream, NY 11581

RE: The country of origin marking of women's woven upper body garments

Dear Mr. Ortiz:

This is in response to your letter dated November 3, 2000 on behalf of Tahari Ltd., requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking in the side seam is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported women's woven upper body garments. A sample and sketches of the proposed label were submitted with your letter for review. The sample submitted with your request will be returned to you under separate cover.

The submitted sample, style B11235, is women's woven silk upper body garment. The garment consists of a single fabric panel that covers the chest and a portion of the sides extending onto the back. In effect, the garment is backless, with the exception of a chain that extends across the back, holding the garment in place. The garment also has a fabric tie at the back of the neck and a front neckline that drapes. Because there is no back neckline, the importer intends to sew a fabric label, approximately 1 ½" by 1" to the back edge of the panel, just below the arm opening. This label will contain consumer information such as size, fiber content and care instructions, as well as, the country of origin. In addition, the importer intends to place a small label, approximately 1" by ¼ ", made from plastic film bearing the country of origin in the front of the garment at the top.

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.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

In T.D. 54640(6), Customs determined that, to be conspicuous, the country of origin marking of wearing apparel such as shirts, blouses and sweaters must be accomplished by means of a fabric label or label made from natural or synthetic film sewn or otherwise permanently affixed on the inside center of the neck midway between the shoulder seams or in that immediate area or otherwise permanently marked in that area in some other manner in order to be conspicuous within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. §1304.

Because of the garment's construction, it appears that the label is best suited at the back edge of the garment below the armhole. In this case, we find that the proposed sewn-in country of origin label on the submitted sample is conspicuous, permanent and legible. The sewn-in label is easy to find and read upon a casual examination of the garment. Also, considering that the sewn-in label contains other consumer information such as size, fiber content and care instructions, in our opinion an ultimate purchaser would examine the sewn-in label marked with the country of origin prior to making a purchasing decision.

You have also indicated that the importer may also attach a small plastic label indicating the country of origin to the front of the garment at the top. This label, in addition to the label containing all the pertinent information for the consumer, is acceptable.

The proposed marking of imported women's woven upper body garment, style B11235,, as described above, is conspicuously, legibly and permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported garment.

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 Patricia Schiazzano at 212-637-7080.


Robert B. Swierupski

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