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NY I84729

August 8, 2002

MAR-2 RR:NC:MM:114 I82729


Ms. Barbara Dawley
Meeks & Sheppard
1735 Post Road
Suite 4
Fairfield, Connecticut 06430


Dear Ms. Dawley:

This is in response to your letter dated July 2, 2002, on behalf of LifeScan, Inc., requesting a ruling on whether imported printed circuit board assemblies (PCBA’s) are required to be individually marked with the country of origin if they will be processed after importation to the United States by a United States manufacturer.

The PCBA’s will be imported into the U.S. as “blank” printed circuit board assemblies with all the elements mounted onto the circuit board but without the necessary programming to make the circuit boards operational. The PCBA’s are parts of the One Touch Basic blood glucose monitors. The One Touch Basic is a diabetes monitoring system for determining the quantity of glucose in a sample of blood. You indicate that at the time of importation the outer cartons in which the PCBA’s are packaged will be marked with the country of origin. After importation into the U.S., the PCBA’s will undergo a three-part manufacturing process that results in a fully functional blood glucose monitor. The three parts are programming, assembly and packaging.

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 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. 19 CFR 134.1(d)(1) states that if an imported article will be used in manufacture, the manufacturer may be the ultimate purchaser if he subjects the imported article to a process which results in a substantial transformation of the article. In such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked. See 19 CFR 134.35.

In this case, the imported PCBA’s are substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser of the imported PCBA’s and under 19 CFR 134.35 only the containers which reach the ultimate purchaser are required to be marked with the country of origin "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 Barbara Kiefer at 646-733-3019.


Robert B. Swierupski

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