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NY H83558

July 26, 2001

MAR-2 RR:NC:TA:351 H83558


Barbara Y. Wierbicki
Tompkins & Davidson, LLP
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036-8901


Dear Ms. Wierbicki:

This is in response to your letter dated July 18, 2001, on behalf of your client, Avon Products, Inc., requesting a ruling on whether the proposed method of marking the container in which the textile pouches are imported with the country of origin in lieu of marking the article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported pouches. A marked sample container was not submitted with your letter for review. The sample is being returned.

In New York Ruling G88808, this office ruled that the pouches in question were classifiable in subheading 6307.90.9989, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other made up articles . . . Other. Our determination was based on the fact that these pouches are for the packaging of the Christmas tree ornaments and are not themselves articles of commerce. We have determined that the pouches are the usual packaging for the ornaments and that they might not be disposed of but reused to store the ornament each year.

You are now inquiring whether these pouches, when imported by Avon’s subsidiary in Puerto Rico for the purpose of filling with an ornament, need to be marked with country of origin.

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.

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 pouches is the company that will be using them as packaging, that is, Avon Products, not the consumer who purchases the ornament at retail.

Section 134.24, states:

Containers or holders not designed for or capable of reuse.

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.

Imported empty. Disposable containers or holders imported for distribution or sale are subject to treatment as imported articles in accordance with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (19 U.S.C. 1202), and shall be marked to indicate clearly the country of their own origin. However, when the containers are packed and sold in multiple units (dozens, gross, etc.), this requirement ordinarily may be met by marking the outermost container which reaches the ultimate purchaser.

The usual containers for an item, imported empty to be filled by a domestic company need not be individually marked with their own origin, assuming they are received by said company in shipping cartons which do indicate such origin, which you indicate will be the case.

The pouches themselves need not be individually marked to indicate country of origin if they are being imported by Avon’s subsidiary for the sole purpose of being used as packaging for a Christmas ornament if the container in which the pouches are imported is marked to indicate the 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 Mitchel Bayer at 212-637-7086.


Robert B. Swierupski

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