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NY J85506

June 13, 2003

MAR-2 RR:NC:N1:113 J85506


Mr. Steven P. Sonnenberg
Sonnenberg & Anderson
333 West Wacker Drive
20th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606


Dear Mr. Sonnenberg:

This is in response to your letter dated June 6, 2003, requesting a ruling on behalf of Schick Manufacturing, Inc., whether it is acceptable to mark the container in which imported razors are repackaged in the U.S. with the country of origin in lieu of marking the article itself when no other markings appear on the article itself. A picture of a marked sample container was submitted with your letter for review.

The merchandise is the Schick Intuitiontm. This item is an all-in-one shaving device for women. The Intuition handle holds a pop-out cartridge consisting of triple razor blades surrounded by a skin-conditioning solid. The cartridge lathers, conditions and shaves in one easy step. The razors are sold as complete commercial units with blades, handles, skin-conditioners, refill shaving cartridges and a shower hanger. Refill cartridges are available. The components of the razors and the cartridges are of mixed Chinese and US origin.

The articles are imported into the USA in bulk. After entry, they are repackaged into retail units for sale to the ultimate purchaser. The items are sold in retail boxes (refills) or blister packages (razors) that are imprinted with the country-of-origin marking.

You propose to mark the box with:

Made by Schick. Razor and Skin Conditioning Solid Made in China and assembled with a blade cartridge made in the U.S.A. for:
Energizer Holdings, Inc. St. Louis, MO 63141 Immediately above this marking, the box will also bear the address of the Schick Co. in Milford, CT, as part of the Performance Guarantee statement.

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. 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 razors is the consumer 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 razors 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 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 razors will be repacked in the manner described above, and that 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 imported razors will not be required.

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(s) or surface(s) in which the name or locality other than the actual country of origin appears. In HQ 732329 of July 12, 1989, et.al. Headquarters has held that 19 C.F.R. ยง134.46 does not require that country of origin information appear beneath a U.S. address so long as the address appears for the purpose of giving the warranty holder a place to direct questions and problems related to the warranty.

The proposed marking of imported razors, as described above, satisfies 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 razors.

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 James Smyth at 646-733-3018.


Robert B. Swierupski

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