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NY J83950

May 15, 2003

MAR-2 RR:NC:WA:355 J83950


Jae C. Park
Excel International of NY Corp.
147-48 182nd Street, Suite 301
Jamaica, NY 11413


Dear Mr. Park:

This is in response to your letter dated April 11, 2003, written on behalf of Burma Bibas, Inc., requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking of shirts, tie and their retail packaging is an acceptable country of origin marking. Two samples, one box marked, one box not marked, were submitted with your letter for review.

Style MKTSPL#01 is a gift box with a see-through plastic top containing a man’s 100 percent cotton woven shirt and a woven 100 percent silk tie. There is no country of origin on the box, which is unsealed. The tie contains a sewn on label with the following information: W.V. Brown, Jermyn St., London, & Eton, Handmade: 100% silk”. It does not contain the country of origin of the tie. The long sleeved cuffed shirt contains three labels: one placed in the center of the neck of the shirt on the collar, one on the back yoke of the shirt, directly underneath the collar label, and the third, a sizing label, is attached to the bottom of the yoke label. The collar label is marked “100% COTTON” and beneath that, in small italicized script, is printed the RN number and the legend “Made in Korea(R.O.K). The label sewn to the back of shirt yoke contains the following: “W.V. BROWN, shirtmakers, hosiers, hatters, Est. 1863, Jermyn St., London, & Eton. The shirt size label is directly below this label.

Style 1002ST is also a gift box with a see-through plastic top containing a man’s 65 percent polyester, 35 percent cotton woven shirt with a 100 percent silk tie. The box is clearly marked in box letters “designer dress shirt, tailored in Korea; 100% silk tie, made in Korea”. The silk tie has a small label sewn to the end which has the fiber content on one side of the label and “made in Korea” on the other side. The shirt has a label sewn into the back of the collar at the center of the neck which contains the fiber content and the legend “tailored in Korea”.

In your letter you ask if (1) the country of origin should be printed on the outside of the packages and (2) if the box is sealed or unsealed, does that make a difference in the marking requirements for 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.

Section 134.41 (b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41 (b)), states that the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the United States is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. For shirts, blouses, and sweaters, Customs ruled that the garments must be marked by means of a fabric label sewn on the inside center of the neck midway between the shoulder seams or in that immediate area, (TD 54640 (6)).

Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), deals with cases 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 locality 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, appears 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. In such a case, 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.

In order to satisfy the close proximity requirement, the country of origin marking must generally appear on the same side or surface in which the name or locality other than the actual country of origin appears. Style MKTSPL#01 has a locality other than the country of origin displayed on the labels. Therefore, marking indicating the origin of the goods as Korea must appear in close proximity to the geographic locations already cited on the labels on this sample. The tie is not marked with the country of origin. Although the shirt and tie comprise a set for purposes of Customs classification, (note New York ruling C89294, dated July 17, 1998), and therefore only the shirt would normally have to marked with the country of origin, since the tie contains a geographic location other than the country of origin, it must also contain marking indicating that it was made in Korea. If it did not contain any references to London or Eton, it would be acceptable, packaged as it is with the shirt for retail sale, to not contain any marking at all.

Referencing your question as to what impact a sealed box would have on origin marking requirements, please note that 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 shirt and tie by viewing the box in which it is packaged, the individual shirt and tie would be excepted from marking under this provision. If style 1002ST were sealed, the marking on the box of the origin of the shirt and tie would satisfy origin marking requirements for Customs . Style MKRSPL#101, if sealed, would not satisfy marking requirements as the marking of the origin is not easily read from the sealed box. Additionally, that origin marking must also appear on the same label or near the yoke label which contains the locations of London and Eton.


The proposed marking of imported style 1002ST, 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 shirt and tie set. As described above, modifications have to be made to the marking of style MKTSPL#01.

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 Camille R. Ferraro at 646-733-3046.


Robert B. Swierupski

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