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NY I83331

August 15, 2002

MAR-2 RR:NC:N1:113 I8331


Mr. Stephen M. Zelman
888 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10106

RE: The country of origin marking of aluminum containers (bottles) made in England or France

Dear Mr. Zelman:

This is in response to your letter dated June 13, 2002, on behalf of O. Berk International Inc., requesting a ruling on whether the proposed method of marking the container in which the aluminum bottles are imported with the country of origin in lieu of marking the articles themselves is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported aluminum bottles. A marked sample bottle was not submitted with your letter for review.

The merchandise is aluminum containers or bottles that are imported empty and in bulk. They are tubular in shape and range in length from four to ten inches and in diameter from two to four inches. The exterior of the bottles is generally unpolished aluminum. They are imported together with caps of either plastic or metal. They will be sold in bulk to domestic companies to be used to package a variety of products, including antibiotics, perfume, resins, chemicals, tea and incense. According to your letter, while most of the time the bottles are sold to the packagers, some sales are made to middlemen for resale.

You also state that the bottles are not reusable. We reviewed the product on the O. Berk website, www.aluminumbottles.com/about.htm (“About O. Berk International”). The website clearly states: “These containers and their sealing plugs can be sterilized and reused making them extremely cost effective.” Therefore, we presume that the bottles are reusable.

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.

Section 134.23 (a) (Containers or holders designed for or capable of reuse) provides that “[e]xcept for goods of a NAFTA country which are usual containers, containers or holders designed for or capable of reuse after the contents have been consumed, whether imported full or empty, must be individually marked to indicate the country of their own origin with a marking such as, “Container Made in (name of country).” Examples of the containers or holders contemplated are heavy duty steel drums, tanks, and other similar shipping, storage, transportation containers or holders capable of reuse. These containers or holders are subject to the treatment specified in General Rule of Interpretation 5(b), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (19 U.S.C. 1202).”

Based on this information, the bottles must be individually marked with their country of origin.

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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