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NY H86669

January 11, 2002

MAR-2 RR:NC:N3:351 H86669


Mr. Jim Haring
Northeast China Development Corp.
738 West Schubert Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614-1507


Dear Mr. Haring:

This is in response to your letter dated December 31, 2001, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed method of marking the bound bales in which the bags are imported with the country of origin in lieu of marking each individual bag is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported bags. An unmarked sample bag was submitted with your letter.

You state that the bags are manufactured from a woven tube with a rolled hem at the bottom and possibly a folded hem at the top; we note that the sample before us has the folded hem. The bags will be plain white with no printing. In the flat condition they will be 40 cm wide and 66 cm long. The sample bag is woven of polypropylene strips; each strip measures approximately 3 cm in apparent width, thus falling within the tariff definition of textile strips.

You state that your customers will fill the bags with sand and use them for flood control.

The applicable subheading for the polypropylene sandbags for flood control use will be 6307.90.9889, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other made-up textile articles, other. The rate of duty will be seven percent ad valorem.

At the present time, merchandise classified in subheading 6307.90.9889 is not subject to any visa requirements or quota restrictions.

In your letter you ask if the bound bales in which the bags are imported may be marked with the country of origin, rather than each bag. You state that each bale would have a country of origin 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, in this case, the bale) 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. You state that the initial customer will use the bag for flood control. In this case, that customer is the ultimate purchaser.

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 article will remain in the marked bound bale until it reaches the ultimate purchaser and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the bags by viewing the bale, the individual bag would be excepted from marking under this provision.

Flood control sandbags which are imported in bound bales that are marked in the manner described above, are excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d). Accordingly, marking the bale in which the bags are imported and sold to the ultimate purchaser in lieu of marking each bag is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported bags provided the port director is satisfied that the article will remain in the marked container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser.

In your letter you ask a series of hypothetical questions about changes you may or may not make to the bags, such as adding handles, coloring them, or laminating them with a film of polypropylene. Please be advised that while such alterations may well change the classification of the merchandise, we can only rule on specific merchandise, not on hypothetical situations. When specific information or samples are available, you may wish to consider resubmission of your request. If you decide to resubmit your request, please mail your request to U.S. Customs, Customs Information Exchange, 10th Floor, One Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10119, attn: Binding Rulings Section.

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 646-733-3102.


Robert B. Swierupski

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