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NY I82456

June 19, 2002

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:221 I82456


Mr. Mick W. Blakely
Border Brokerage Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 3549
Blaine, WA 98231


Dear Mr. Blakely:

This is in response to your letter, dated May 6, 2002, on behalf of Houweling Nurseries Ltd., requesting a ruling on country of origin marking for live plants imported in plastic pots. A marked sample of the pot was submitted with your letter for review.

The legend “Made in China” is stamped on the bottom of the pot in letters approximately 1/16 inch high. The pot is prominently marked on the front with a logo for Houweling’s Nurseries. The words “Grown in Canada” are stamped across the rim in letters 3/16 inch (lower case) and 1/4 inch (upper case) in height.

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.

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Live plants are among the articles listed by the Secretary of the Treasury under the authority provided in 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(J). This list, known as the “J-List,” excepts from individual country of origin marking articles that were not required to be marked during the five year period prior to 1937.

The J-List reflects a recognition that some articles are themselves not susceptible of marking, but does not diminish the requirement of section 304 that the ultimate purchaser of an imported article be given an indication of its country of origin. The requirement is satisfied by marking the "immediate container" (in the words of the statute) in which the imported article reaches the ultimate purchaser, or "the outermost container" (in the words of the regulation) in which the article ordinarily reaches the ultimate purchaser.

Plants imported in plastic containers marked “Grown in Canada,” as described above, are conspicuously, legibly and permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134. Noting the conspicuousness of the marking “Grown in Canada” on the front of the pot, this office believes it would be evident to the casual observer that the marking on the bottom of the container refers to the origin of the pot rather than the origin of the plant. This office does not consider the present marking to be misleading. To further clarify the distinction, however, this office suggests that future containers be marked with words such as “Pot (or planter) made in China.”

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 Joan Mazzola at (646) 733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

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