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NY H81281

June 7, 2001

MAR-2 RR:NC:N1:113 H81281


Ms. Maria Da Rocha
D & D Customhouse Brokerage
701 Newark Avenue
Suite LL1
Elizabeth, NJ 07208


Dear Ms. Da Rocha:

This is in response to your letter dated May 14, 2001, on behalf of Products of Tomorrow, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking "German Stainless Steel" is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported cutlery. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

The merchandise is a cutlery set containing two cleavers, a paring knife, four steak knives, two slicers, a fillet knife and a pair of scissors. Stainless steel sheet will be shipped to China from Germany. There it will be die-cut and the blade will be edged. The plastic handle to which the blade is attached will be made in China. The knives are individually etched with the words “German Stainless Steel.” Since the articles are, in fact, manufactured in China, they are not legally marked and the marking as shown is deceptive.

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.

19 CFR Section 134.43 provides for methods of marking specific articles. It requires that knives, cleavers and scissors “shall be marked legibly and conspicuously by die stamping, cast-in-the-mold lettering, etching (acid or electrolytic), engraving, or by means of metal plates which bear the prescribed marking and which are securely attached to the article in a conspicuous place by welding, screws, or rivets.”

Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), deals with cases in which the words "United States," or "American," the letters "U.S.A.," any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appears on an imported article or its container, and those words, letters or names may mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser as to the actual country of origin. In such a case, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters, or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," Product of," or other words of similar meaning. In this case, the cutlery must also be etched with the words “Made in China.”

In order to satisfy the close proximity requirement, the country of origin marking must generally appear on the same side(s) or surface(s) in which the name or locality other than the actual country of origin appears.

The applicable subheading for the cutlery set will be 8211.10.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for knives with cutting blades, serrated or not, sets of assorted articles. The rate of duty will be the rate of duty applicable to that article in the set subject to the highest rate of duty.

Your inquiry does not provide enough information for us to give a ruling on the actual rate of duty. We requested your office to supply a price breakdown of all of the components included in the set. Your breakdown did not include the scissors. Therefore, we are unable to calculate the rate.

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 James Smyth at 212-637-7008.


Robert B. Swierupski

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