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NY I87834

October 31, 2002

MAR-2 RR:NC:1:118 I87834


Mr. George C. Stockin
Casey Tool
552 S. Washington St.
Suite 108
Naperville, IL 60540


Dear Mr. Stockin:

This is in response to your letter dated October 22, 2002, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking "Poland" on the packaging, rather than on each stick, is acceptable country of origin markings for the processed raw forgings (torque sticks and torque extensions). Samples were submitted with your letter for review.

Your products are raw forgings (steel torque sticks and torque extensions) from Poland for automotive use. These will be machined (finished) in the United States. The machining creates the proper width and dimensions, which enables the torque sticks and torque extensions to function. The sticks will be sold in two ways: 1) in a blow molded case with 4 to 12 sticks per case and 2) individually in a poly bag with a cardboard header which includes product number and descriptive information. The end user (mechanic) would receive the product in the packaging, in both instances. As stated above, you propose to mark the packaging for the forgings with the country of origin “Poland”.

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 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)), defines “country of origin” as the country of manufacture, production or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the “country of origin” within the meaning of the marking laws and regulations. In this case, the imported raw forgings are not substantially
transformed as a result of the U.S. processing (finishing). The country of origin for the raw forgings and finished torque sticks and torque extensions will be Poland.

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. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the torque sticks and torque extensions is the consumer (mechanic) who purchases the product at retail.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. However, since the torque sticks and torque extensions are not imported in their marked retail container, whether the subject articles are excepted from individual marking under 19 CFR 134.32(d) is for the port director to decide. In this regard section 134.34, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.34), provides that an exception may be authorized at the discretion of the port director under 19 CFR 134.32(d) for imported articles which are to be to be repacked after release from Customs custody under the following conditions: (1) The containers in which the articles are repacked will indicate the origin of the articles to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S.; (2) The importer arranges for supervision of the marking of the containers by Customs officers at the importer’s expense or secures such verification, as may be necessary, by certification and the submission of a sample or otherwise, of the marking prior to the liquidation of the entry.

In this case, assuming that the port director is satisfied that the imported raw forgings will be repacked in the manner described above, and the other conditions set forth in 19 CFR 134.34 are met, the port director may authorize an exception under 19 CFR 134.32(d), in which case marking of the individual imported raw forgings will not be required.

The finished torque sticks and torque extensions will be packaged for retail sale in the U.S. Because of this, the importer must comply with the requirements of 19 C.F.R §134.26, and file a certification (the form is included in the regulation) with the District Director. 19 CFR 134.26 states that:

If an article subject to these requirements is intended to be repacked in retail containers after its release from Customs custody, or if the district director having custody of the article, has reason to believe such article will be repacked after its release, the importer shall certify to the district director that: (1) If the importer does the repacking, he shall not obscure or conceal the country of origin marking appearing on the article, or else the new container shall be marked to indicate the country of origin of the article in accordance with the requirements of this part.

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 Kathy Campanelli at 646-733-3021.


Robert B. Swierupski

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