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NY J80994

April 25, 2003

MAR-2 RR:NC:1:118 J80994


Mr. Craig Shau
Emery Customs Brokers
6940 Engle Road - Suite A
Middleburg Heights, OH 44130


Dear Mr. Schau:

This is in response to your letter dated April 7, 2003, on behalf of your client Swagelok Co., requesting a country of origin marking ruling and classification for brass fittings from the Netherlands. Samples were submitted with your letter for review and will be returned to you as requested.

The products are threaded pipe/tube fittings made from forgings of brass and used in hydraulic or pneumatic industrial applications. They will be connecting tubing in various systems and will be imported in bulk shipment.

The applicable subheading for both threaded brass pipe/tube fittings will be 7412.20.0035, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for copper tubes or pipe fittings (for example couplings, elbows, sleeves): of copper alloys: other: of copper-zinc base alloys (brass): threaded: other. The rate of duty will be 3% ad valorem.

You state that the brass fittings are not currently marked with the country of origin. You ask if it is sufficient to mark the fittings with an ISO (2) digit country code (NL) to satisfy the country of origin requirements and indicate that it is not possible to forge the entire country name on these size fittings.

Section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), requires that every article of foreign origin imported into the U.S., unless excepted, shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article will permit in such manner as to
indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §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. The primary purpose of the country of origin marking statute is to "mark the goods so that at the time of purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will." United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27 CCPA 297, 302 C.A.D. 104 (1940). The "ultimate purchaser" is defined generally as the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported.

19 C.F.R. §134.45(a) requires that the marking shall include the English name of the country origin unless other marking to indicate the English name of the country of origin is specifically authorized by the Commissioner of Customs. The regulation in the next subsection authorizes the use of abbreviations which unmistakably indicate the country of origin. 19 C.F.R. §134.45(b). Customs has recognized either "Netherlands" or "Holland" to be an acceptable country of origin marking. We find that "NL" is not an acceptable abbreviation for the Netherlands because it does not unmistakably indicate the country of origin to the ultimate purchaser. Accordingly, the products you intend to import must be marked either "Netherlands" or "Holland" to indicate to the ultimate purchaser their country of origin.

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. Accordingly, if Customs is satisfied that the article will remain in its container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the brass fitting by viewing the container in which it is packaged, the individual brass fitting would be excepted from marking under this provision. Marking the container in which the brass fitting is imported and sold to the ultimate purchaser in lieu of marking the article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported brass fitting provided the port director is satisfied that the article will remain in the marked container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser.

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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