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NY H81941

July 17, 2001

MAR-2 RR:NC:TAB:354 H81941


Mr. Jim Brown
Southern Glove, Inc.
P.O. Box 579
Conover, NC 28613-0579


Dear Mr. Brown:

This is in response to your letter dated June 7, 2001 requesting a ruling on whether it is acceptable to mark only the shipping container in which imported canvas work gloves, that you propose to tag with the country of origin in the U.S., with the country of origin. A marked sample container was not submitted with your letter for review.

Your submission indicates that you wish to import Honduran assembled work gloves, Style UPC195. The individual gloves are not marked with the country of origin. Once in the U.S., the bulk packed gloves could be logo printed and tags with the country of origin, in this instance Made in Honduras, Assembled in Honduras, Product of Honduras or other words of similar meaning affixed. You propose to insert a paper tag with the country of origin in the shipping case or tape it to the outside.

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.

In our opinion the use of a paper tag does not meet the permanency requirement for marking the shipping cases.

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d), defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the gloves is the consumer who purchases the product at retail.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. This exception is applicable is Customs is satisfied that the marked container in which the article is imported will reach the ultimate purchaser in all reasonably forseeable circumstances.

In HRL 732793 Customs held that industrial gloves may be excepted from individual marking. These gloves were sold by sets of one dozen pair and shipped to a distributor prior to sale to the industrial consumer. The difference between your situation and that in HRL 732793 is that in the prior case the gloves were imported sealed in polybags with a paper insert stating "TO BE SOLD BY THE DOZEN ONLY....MADE IN TAIWAN R.O.C."

In your case, you wish to mark only the shipping case. Before granting an exception from marking, the director of Customs at the port of entry must be satisfied that the ultimate purchaser will receive the gloves in their original unopened marked container and that the gloves will be used only as indicated. Therefore, the marking on the shipping carton is not sufficient to fulfill the country of origin marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D); 19 CFR 134.32(d). If you alter the packaging of the gloves in accordance with the Customs rulings cited supra, i.e. by placing the gloves in a sealed plastic polybag with the country of origin marked on the packaging or visible inside the packaging, your marking would be acceptable.

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 Brian Burtnik at 212-637-7083.


Robert B. Swierupski

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