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HQ 560989





October 6, 1998

MAR-05 RR:CR:SM 560989 KKV

CATEGORY: MARKING

Mr. James Bernier
Wilsons - The Leather Experts
7401 Boone Avenue N.
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428

RE: Country of origin marking of imported leather goods; 19 U.S.C. 1304; “Crafted in;” HRL 732689; HRL 735318; HRL 712210; HRL 732734

Dear Mr. Bernier:

This is in response to your letter dated May 7, 1998, which requests a ruling regarding the acceptability of a proposed country of origin marking for imported leather goods. No samples of the merchandise or proposed label have been submitted with your request.

FACTS:

You indicate that your firm imports leather apparel (sportswear and outerwear) and leather accessories (handbags, gloves, and small leather goods) from China, Indonesia, India and Pakistan. The country of origin label currently used by your firm states “Made in (country of origin).” You inquire whether you may replace that label with one reading “Crafted in (country of origin).”

ISSUE:

Whether the phrase “Crafted in (country of origin)” satisfies the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134.

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin imported into the United States 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 United States the English name of the country of origin of the article. By enacting 19 U.S.C. 1304, Congress intended to ensure that the ultimate purchaser would be able to know by inspecting the marking on the imported goods the country of which the goods are the product. The evident purpose is to mark the goods so that at the time of purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will. United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 297, 302 C.A.D. 104 (1940).

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions. Customs has previously considered the use of the phrase “Crafted in” in the context of country of origin marking. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 732689, dated December 7, 1989, Customs considered the country of origin marking of imported mugs, tins and gift bags. Customs held that the phrase “Crafted in” satisfied the general marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304, stating, “the word ‘craft’ is defined in the Random House College Dictionary as ‘to make or manufacture an object with skill and careful attention to detail.’ An ultimate purchaser would therefore understand that the phrase ‘Crafted in’ refers to where an item was made.” Additionally, in HRL 735318, dated October 18, 1993, Customs determined that the phrase “Crafted in Taiwan” would be acceptable for marking imported faucets and pre-rinse units as it satisfied the special marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 134.46, where it appeared in close proximity to the non-origin geographical reference and was printed in lettering of at least comparable size.

Moreover, in HRL 712210, dated March 20, 1980, Customs ruled that the phrase "Handcrafted in Mexico" was acceptable for marking imported surfboards, or “Boogie Boards,” where the only manufacturing processes done by machine were operations secondary or incidental to the primary construction of the merchandise (e.g., attaching, trimming, wrapping). See also, HRL 732734, dated December 28, 1989, where Customs discussed the marking of printed material. Customs determined that the term “lithography” was not a commonly understood phrase and an ultimate purchaser could misunderstand that the phrase “Litho Canada” refers to the location where the printed material was made. However, Customs held that the term “handcrafted,” which related to where a product was made and the specific technique used to make the product, was a commonly understood term that an ordinary ultimate purchaser who does not have specialized knowledge would comprehend.

Accordingly, the proposed marking “Crafted In (country of origin)” is acceptable for use in marking imported leather apparel and leather accessories provided the other requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 are met.

HOLDING:

The phrase “Crafted In (country of origin)” is acceptable for use in marking imported leather apparel and leather accessories provided the other requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 are met.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time the goods are entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.

Sincerely,

John Durant
Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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