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NY H89881

March 28, 2002

MAR-2 RR:NC:N1:113 H89881


M. Barnaby L. Zelman
Delta Z Knives, Inc.
P.O. Box 1112
Studio City, CA 91614


Dear Mr. Zelman:

This is in response to your letter dated March 15, 2002, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking "Italy" is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported knives. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

The merchandise is the “Ken Onion Limited” folding knife. The knife has a decorated damascus steel blade. You inquire if the knives may be marked “Italy” by engraving or etching on the inside of the handle back strap (or spacer). This marking would be visible only when the blade is in the open position. You claim that the outside of the back strap portion will be decorated with artistic grinding, making it unsuitable for a legible marking.

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 the matter of knives, Customs strongly recommends that the country of origin be in lettering of a size sufficient as to be legible and easily read and located on the handle when the handle is capable of being marked by one of the methods set out in 19 C.F.R. §134.43, and such method of marking at that location will do no injury to the appeal or value of the knife. At a minimum, Customs suggests that the marking be located at the base of the cutting blade of the knife. Knives marked in other than any of the foregoing locations may still be found to be marked conspicuously, provided the lettering is in a method prescribed in 19 C.F.R. §134.43, and of a sufficient size and location as to be found easily and read without strain by the ultimate purchaser. Each case must be decided upon its own particular facts. Based on the limited information you provide, the proposed will not satisfy the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134.

Your letter does not provide enough information for a positive determination. No sample was provided. You do not indicate how the item is to be packaged. There is no description of the marking, its size or color. When this information is available, you may wish to consider resubmission of your request. You may also consider discussing acceptable methods of marking with your local Customs port.

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 James Smyth at 646-733-3018.


Robert B. Swierupski

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