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NY H83408

July 18, 2001

CLA-2-82:RR:NC:N1:113 H83408


TARIFF NO.: 8214.20.6000, 9605.00.0000

Ms. Theresa Stavola
Circle International, Inc.
55 Johnson Road
Lawrence, NY 11559

RE: The tariff classification of manicure and travel sets from Italy.

Dear Ms. Stavola:

In your letter dated July 5, 2001, you requested a ruling on behalf of Bergdorf Goodman, Inc. on tariff classification.

The samples you provided consist of two sets, a manicure set and a travel set. Both are imported in fitted leather containers. The manicure set contains five manicure tools: tweezers, a nail file, a cuticle cutter, cuticle scissors and a cuticle tool. The travel set is a grooming set containing 15 grooming accessories, including: a comb, a mirror, a shoe horn, a shaver, nail accessories, a nail brush and a sewing kit. The sets are packaged in retail cardboard boxes.

The applicable subheading for the manicure set will be 8214.20.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for manicure and pedicure sets, and combinations thereof in leather cases or other containers of types ordinarily sold therewith in retail sales, in leather containers. The general rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the travel set will be 9605.00.0000, HTS, which provides for travel sets for personal toilet, sewing or shoe or clothes cleaning (other than manicure and pedicure sets of heading 8214). The general rate of duty will be 8.1 percent ad valorem.

Your letter also requested a ruling on whether the proposed method of marking the container in which the sets are imported with the country of origin in lieu of marking the article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported sets. Samples were submitted with your letter for review.

The travel set is in a silver-gray, paperboard retail container, marked, on the cover:

G. Lorenzi
9, montenapalone-milano-italia
and on the back:

G. Lorenzi

The marking “Bag made in Italy” is on the fitted bag itself, concealed under an inner flap. Most of the individual items are marked with a label “Made in Italy,” or “Made in France.”

The manicure set is in a silver-colored, paperboard retail container. The front is marked with the name “Bergdorf Goodman.” There is no indication of country of origin marking on the box. The individual items are marked with labels “Made in France.” On the bag itself, concealed under an inner flap, is the marking “Bag made in Italy.”

These markings are unacceptable for a number of reasons, which will be made clear. We recommend that you contact your local port to discuss proper marking. In the meantime, you should consider that 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. A country-of-origin marking located under the flap of a bag would not be considered conspicuous. The marking on the back of the box is confusing, since it makes a multiple claim of origin for the contents.

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 sets is the consumer who purchases the products at retail.

As for as the marking for the travel set, 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 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. In the case of the travel set, some of the contents have been made in France. The cover of the box bears an Italian address and the origin label is on the underside of the box.

On the other hand, 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. Accordingly, if Customs is satisfied that the articles will remain in their containers until they reach the ultimate purchaser and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the sets by viewing the containers in which they are packaged, the individual articles would be excepted from marking under this provision.

§ 134.24 Containers or holders not designed for or capable of reuse. (a) Containers ordinarily discarded after use. Disposable containers or holders subject to the provisions of this section are the usual ordinary types of containers or holders, including cans, bottles, paper or polyethylene bags, paperboard boxes, and similar containers or holders which are ordinarily discarded after the contents have been consumed.

(d) Imported full—(1) When contents are excepted from marking. Usual disposable containers in use as such at the time of importation shall not be required to be marked to show the country of their own origin, but shall be marked to indicate the origin of their contents regardless of the fact that the contents are excepted from marking requirements

Accordingly, marking the container (in which the articles are imported and sold to the ultimate purchaser in lieu of marking the articles themselves) might have been an acceptable country of origin marking if it had been done in conformance to the above cited regulations, and if the port director could be satisfied that the article would remain in the marked container until it reached the ultimate purchaser.

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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