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NY I89994

February 20, 2003

MAR-2 RR:NC:TA:360 I89994


ToRay Henry
Director of Import Operations
Speed Sourcing, Inc.
2140 City Gate Drive
Columbus, OH 43219

RE: The country of origin marking of women's upper body garments

Dear Mr. Henry:

This is in response to your letter dated January 17, 2003, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking in the neck seam is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported women's upper body garments. The sample submitted with your request will be returned to you under separate cover.

The submitted sample, style A1, is women's pullover garment made from 81% acrylic and 19% nylon openwork fabric. The garment features long sleeves, a v neckline and extends below the waist. The importer intends to sew a country of origin label in the center back of the neck area. The label measures approximately 1½ inches by ¼ of an inch and is made from plastic film. The country of origin is written vertically in black lettering. Next to this label is a small label bearing the size of the garment and a company logo which is also written vertically. In addition, there is a woven label, measuring approximately 1¼ inches by ¾ of an inch, sewn in the lower right seam, approximately 4 inches from the bottom of the garment. This label contains consumer information such as fiber content and care instructions, but not the country of origin.

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.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

In T.D. 54640(6), Customs determined that, to be conspicuous, the country of origin marking of wearing apparel such as shirts, blouses and sweaters must be accomplished by means of a fabric label or label made from natural or synthetic film sewn or otherwise permanently affixed on the inside center of the neck midway between the shoulder seams or in that immediate area or otherwise permanently marked in that area in some other manner in order to be conspicuous within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. §1304. The submitted upper body garment is similar to the garments discussed in the T.D.; therefore, the marking you proposed is acceptable.

The proposed marking of imported women's woven upper body garment, style A1, as described above, is conspicuously, legibly and permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported garment.

You have also asked whether combined fiber content/care label on this garment is acceptable. Textile fiber products imported into the U.S. must also be labeled in accordance with the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act and the rules promulgated thereunder by the Federal Trade Commission, for which U.S. Customs does not issue rulings. Information on these labeling requirements may be obtained at the FTC website at WWW.FTC.GOV.

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 Patricia Schiazzano at 646-733-3051.


Robert B. Swierupski

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