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NY H85906

December 18, 2001

MAR-2 RR:NC: 61:TA: 359-H85906


Mr. ToRay Henry
Director of Import Operations
Speed Sourcing, Inc.
2140 City Gate Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43219


Dear Mr. Henry:

This is in response to your letter dated December 4, 2001, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking on a sample of women’s knitwear is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported wearing apparel. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review. This sample is returned as requested.

The sample is a woman’s knitted pullover with long sleeves and a v-shaped neckline. It is constructed from knitted fabric that has more than nine stitches per two centimeters, measured in the direction in which the stitches were formed. The pullover extends from the wearer’s neck and shoulders to below her waist. It is intended for wear over underwear. The style number is 1311. You did not furnish the fiber content of the pullover.

At the center of the rear inside neckline of the pullover there is found a sewn fabric label which measures ¼ inch (height) by 1 ¾ inches (length). That label states “MAXSTUDIO @COM.” Each of the two sides along the length of the label is tack stitched along the vertical line. At the horizontal lines stretching across the label there are no stitches.

At the inside shoulder seam there are found two labels in the form of what you call “vertical ribbons”. These labels are tack stitched at one side only (one vertical line). On one of these labels there is a country of origin statement, “Made in China”, while on the other label there is the size of the pullover, “L”. When the pullover is placed flat on a level surface each of these shoulder seam ribbon labels is partially obscured. You ask whether the inside shoulder seam label with the Country of origin label constitutes an acceptable country of origin marking label.

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.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. In order to achieve this objective regarding articles of textile wearing apparel, such as shirts, blouses or sweaters, the country of origin label must be a fabric label or a label made from natural or synthetic film sewn or otherwise permanently affixed on the inside center of the neck midway between the shoulder seams or in that immediate area in order to be conspicuously marked with the meaning of 19 U.S.C. Section 1304, following the long standing policy of the Customs Service, Treasury Decision (T.D.) 54640(6), noted.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

The proposed marking of the imported woman’s knitted pullover, as described above, does not satisfy the marking requirements as set forth in 19 U.S.C., Section 1304, nor does it satisfy 19 C.F.R. Part 134. Specifically, your sample’s marking label is neither conspicuous nor permanent in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is therefore, not an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported woman’s knitted pullover.

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 Michael Crowley at 646-733-3049.


Robert B. Swierupski

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