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NY I84842

August 28, 2002

MAR-2 RR:NC:1:103 I84842


Ms. Cheri Kreutchic
USA Scientific, Inc.
PO Box 3565
Ocala, FL 34478-3565


Dear Ms. Kreutchic:

This is in response to your letter dated July 29,2002 in which you requested a ruling as to the adequacy of the country of origin marking of bags and boxes your firm will use to package products imported from Germany. In a telephone conversation with a member of my staff you stated that “USA Scientific” is a registered trademark of your firm, and that you received registration number 2170338 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on June 30, 1998 for this name. You asked whether certain proposed packaging designs will comply with the requirements of the country of origin marking statute, Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), if your trademark appears on the packaging of pipette tips and tubes which are manufactured in Germany.

With your inquiry you submitted samples depicting the artwork which your firm proposes to use on the packaging of the pipette tips and tubes. The imported disposable tips and tubes are made of polypropylene and are used with pipettes to deliver small, precise volumes of liquids. The tips and tubes will be imported in two types of packaging: sealed clear plastic bags containing 1000 tips or tubes, or boxes which contain 10 racks, with each rack holding 96 pipette tips (the racks are not sold individually).

Sample 1 depicts the proposed artwork for the plastic bags which will be imported containing 1000 tips or tubes. A series of horizontal lines printed in blue ink repeatedly bearing the words “USA Scientific” and the phrase “Precise Solutions® for Research” appears on the bag. The letters forming the word “USA” are approximately ¼ inch in height, and the lines containing the repeated pattern are spaced approximately 1 ½ inches apart. The upper right corner of the bag bears a printed label, 1 ¾ inches high and 4 ¼ inches wide, which has the name of your firm and its telephone number in white letters against a red background. This label also contains, in black ink against a white background, the name and catalog number of the product contained in the bag, a drawing of the product, the lot number, and the words “Made in Germany” in letters 1/8 inch in height.

Samples 2 – 6 depict the proposed design for small and large cartons which will contain the boxes holding the racked tips. Each carton again bears, on several sides, the “USA Scientific” logo and the phrase “Precise Solutions® for Research” in yellow and white letters about 1 inch high against a blue background. One side flap and one end flap of the carton bear a printed label with the name, the catalog number, a drawing of the product contained in the carton, the lot number, and the words “Made in Germany” in black letters 1/8 inch in height against a white background. In addition, “Made in Germany” is printed in black letters on a white background on the bottom flap of the carton.

Sample 7 depicts the artwork for the inside lid of the cartons. This contains the “USA Scientific” logo, written instructions for autoclaving the tips, a written description of the product guarantees your firm offers, and the words “Made in Germany”. However, since this information appears on the inside of the carton lid, it is not visible until the carton is opened.

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 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46) provides that in any case in which the words “United States,” or “American,” the letters “U.S.A.,” any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or location in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced appear on an imported article or its container, and those words, letters or names may mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser as to the actual country of origin of the article, there shall appear legibly and permanently in close proximity to such words, letters, or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by “Made in,” “Product of,” or other words of similar meaning.

However, Section 134.47, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.47), provides that when the name of a place other than the country of origin appears as part of a trademark or trade name or as part of a souvenir marking, the name of the actual country of origin must appear in close proximity to the place name "or in some other conspicuous location". Whether the country of origin appears "in close proximity" or in some other conspicuous place, the name of the country of origin must be preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or words of similar meaning. In other words, if the question concerns a trademark, trade name or souvenir marking, the country of origin marking need only meet the general standard of conspicuousness.

Since the word “USA” is used as part of your trademark, the less stringent requirements of 19 CFR 134.47 are applicable. The proposed marking of the packaging of the imported pipette tips and tubes, as described above, satisfies the marking requirements of 19 CFR 134.47 and is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported tips and tubes so packaged.

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 Alan Horowitz at 646-733-3010.


Robert B. Swierupski

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