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NY H81081

May 31, 2001

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:232 H81081


Mr. Jack Kilmartin
Yamato Customs Brokers U.S.A., Inc.
377 Oyster Point Blvd., Suite 15
South San Francisco, CA 94080


Dear Mr. Kilmartin:

This is in response to your letter dated May 9, 2001, on behalf of Trade Source International, requesting a ruling on the acceptable country of origin marking for imported tea from the People’s Republic of China. Copies of photographs of the subject merchandise were included with your request. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

You indicate that the immediate package for the tea is a sealed, 6-inch aluminum foil bag holding 3 ounces of green tea leaves. The foil bag is packaged in a stylized cardboard container that measures approximately 4 inches by 2 ½ inches by 2 ½ inches. The cardboard container is marked with the Chinese character for the word “tea.” There are two of the stylized cardboard containers packaged in a decorated, reusable cardboard box, which measures approximately 5 ½ inches by 7 inches by 3 inches. The cardboard box is colored red and gold and the lid is marked with the Chinese character for the word “tea.” This box is the outermost container that will reach the ultimate purchaser.

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.

On October 11, 1996, the President signed the Miscellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act of 1996. Section 14 of the Act amended the country of origin marking statute (19 U.S.C. 1304) to exempt imports of certain specified coffee, tea and spices from the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a) and (b). As a result neither the imported products nor their containers are required to be marked with the foreign country of origin. This statutory exemption is effective for goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after October 11, 1996. The green tea is among the products which have been included in this statutory marking exemption. Therefore, neither the green tea nor its containers are required to be marked with the foreign 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 John Maria at 212-637-7059.


Robert B. Swierupski

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