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NY H89352

April 12, 2002

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:224 H89352


Kathy Bartlett
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond WA 98052-6399

RE: The Country of Origin Marking of a video game controller.

Dear Ms Bartlett:

This is in response to your letter dated January 31, 2002, and received in this office on March 14, 2002, requesting a ruling on whether a certain proposed marking for imported game controllers shipped in retail cartons with Xbox video game consoles is an acceptable country of origin marking. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review. It is being returned at your request.

You state that the Xbox video game console is manufactured in Mexico and Hungary. In its condition as imported, the console is packaged as a retail set with a game controller that is being sourced from either Malaysia or China. Because of manufacturing and shipping processes, there is no reasonable way of tracking whether any one retail carton contains a controller originating in Malaysia or China. Based on these circumstances, you propose that the country of origin marking requirements will be satisfied by marking on the outside of a sealed retail carton the phrase “Controller Made in _____ or _____” with the blanks indicating either of the two possible countries of origin for the controller.

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. That section further provides that the degree of permanence should be at least sufficient to insure that in any reasonably foreseeable circumstance the marking shall remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless it is deliberately removed. Under 19 C.F.R. 134.24(d)(2), articles which are sold in sealed containers which are normally unopened by the ultimate purchaser before purchase must be marked to indicate the country of origin of its contents.

We are of the opinion that where the Xbox video game console and accompanying game controller which are themselves marked with their respective countries of origin are imported into the U.S. in a sealed carton, the marking “Controller Made in _______ or ______” printed conspicuously on the carton in a conspicuous location is acceptable, as it satisfies the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134.

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 Tom McKenna at 646-733-3025.


Robert B. Swierupski

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