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NY I87885

November 21, 2002

MAR-2 RR:NC:1:101 I87885


Mr. Connard P. Cali
Perfect Fit Industries, Inc.
200 B Street, Suite E
Davis, California 95616


Dear Mr. Cali:

This is in response to your letter dated October 16, 2002 requesting a ruling on whether the proposed method of marking the container in which the starter drive is imported with the country of origin in lieu of marking the article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported starter drives. A marked sample container was not submitted with your letter for review.

You have stated both in your submission and in telephone conversations that you are currently importing starter drives from Brazil which is the country of manufacture. You propose to mark the drive directly with “Zen Starter Drive USA” followed by your part number and production code number. You further state that each drive will be individually packed in a box which will be marked MADE IN BRAZIL. Further, 35 of these boxes will be packed in a master carton which will also be indelibly marked MADE IN BRAZIL. You have indicated that all your customers are original equipment manufacturers and are aware of the correct country of origin of the starter drives.

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. The case of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98) (1940), provides that an article used in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article will be considered substantially transformed and that the manufacturer or processor will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the constituent materials. 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 starter drives are substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser of the imported starter drives and under 19 CFR 134.35 only the containers which reach the ultimate purchaser are required to be marked with the country of origin "Brazil".

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 Robert DeSoucey at 646-733-3008.


Robert B. Swierupski

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