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HQ 561938

March 18, 2002

MAR-05 RR:CR:SM 561938 KKV


Mr. Robert Germain
J.F. Germain & Son Ltd.
25 Commercial Buildings
St Helier, Jersey
Channel Islands

RE: Country of origin marking requirements applicable to pipe tobacco manufactured on the Island of Jersey, Channel Islands; Crown Dependency

Dear Mr. Germain:

This is in response to your letter dated October 5, 2000, which requests a binding ruling with regard to the country of origin marking requirements applicable to pipe tobacco manufactured on the Island of Jersey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom. We regret the delay in responding.


You indicate that J.F. Germain & Son, Ltd. manufactures pipe tobacco on the island of Jersey, Channel Islands, for export and sale in the United States. Until recently, the products were marked as being manufactured in the British Isles, or in some cases, Jersey, British Isles. However, you indicate that one of your U.S. customers was told by their local Customs office that the containers must be marked “Made in the United Kingdom” and inquire as to the correct country of origin marking for the pipe tobacco. Upon further research, we note that your firm imports into Jersey, Channel Islands, many types of tobacco grown in a variety of locations (e.g., Maryland, Virginia and Louisiana in the United States, as well as Greece, Turkey, etc.) which it then manufactures into its distinctive signature blends. Inasmuch as no details have been provided regarding the condition of the tobacco upon importation into the Channel Islands, nor of the nature and extent of the processing operations performed by your firm, we are unable to determine whether the imported tobacco undergoes a substantial transformation sufficient to effect a change of origin. Therefore, for purposes of this ruling, we presume that the tobacco blends produced by your firm are a product of the Island of Jersey.


For purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304, what is the acceptable country of origin marking for articles manufactured on Jersey, Channel Islands?


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).

The Customs regulations are set forth at Title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Part 134 is the section (19 CFR Part 134) which implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)), defines “country of origin” as:

The country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the “country of origin” within the meaning of this part

Accordingly, the country of origin of an article is the country in which it was wholly grown or, if processed in several countries, the country in which the article last underwent a substantial transformation.

The term “country” is defined in 19 CFR 134.1(d) as the political entity known as a nation. The Office of the Geographer, Department of State informs us that the Channel Islands Bailiwick of Jersey is not an independent sovereign state but is a Crown Dependency of the United Kingdom. A dependency is defined as “a land or territory geographically distinct from the country governing it, and held in trust or as a possession. “ See Webster’s New World Dictionary, Second College Edition, The World Publishing Co. (1972).

For country of origin marking purposes, colonies, possessions, or protectorates outside the boundaries of the mother country are considered separate entities. Section 134.45(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.45(d)), states that the name of the colony, possession of protectorate shall usually be considered acceptable marking. However, when the name is not sufficiently well known to insure that the ultimate purchasers will be fully informed of the country of origin, or where the name appearing alone may cause confusion, deception, or mistake, clarifying words may be required. In such cases, the Commissioner of Customs shall specify the additional wording to be used in conjunction with the name of the colony, possession, or protectorate.

With regard to the Bailiwick of Jersey, Channel Islands, Customs has issued Treasury Decision (T.D.) 68-292(2), dated November 22, 1968, which states that, “[s]ince the States of Jersey, Channel Islands, attached to the Crown of England, are not a part of the United Kingdom or Great Britain, the marking “Made in Jersey, British Isles” constitutes acceptable country of origin marking.” Similarly, T.D. 73-106, dated April 13, 1973, held that the marking, “Made in Guernsey, British Isles” was acceptable country of marking for goods produced on the island of Guernsey, Channel Islands. The phrases, “Manufactured in Jersey, British Isles,” “Product of Jersey, British Isles,” “Made in the British Isles” or “Made in the United Kingdom” would also be acceptable for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304.


The marking “Made in Jersey, British Isles” is an acceptable country of origin marking for goods produced on the island of Jersey, Channel Islands. The markings “Made in the British Isles” and “Made in the United Kingdom” are also acceptable.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is 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.


John Durant

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