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NY J87430

August 8, 2003

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:221 J87430


Mr. George LeClair
Uni-Pac, Inc. d.b.a. United Paper Box Co.
150 Middle Water Street
Holyoke, MA 01040

RE: The country of origin marking requirements for a plastic packaging pouch from China.

Dear Mr. LeClair:

In your letter dated July 9, 2001, you requested a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements for a plastic pouch for packaging footpads and insoles.

The pouches will be imported empty and used to package insoles and footpads. The front of the pouch is marked with an American flag under which the words “Insoles crafted in the USA” appear. The back of the pouch is marked “Insoles crafted in the USA. Packaging made in China.” The pouch is also marked with the domestic address of the insole distributor. You ask whether this marking is sufficient to satisfy the country of marking requirements.

Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. §1304), requires that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article. Section 134.1(d), Customs Regulations [19 C.F.R. §134.1(d)], defines "ultimate purchaser" as "generally the last person in the United States who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported."

Section 134.24(b), Customs Regulations [19 C.F.R. §134.24(b)], provides that disposable containers, not designed or capable of reuse, which are imported empty and packed and sold in multiple units, need not be individually marked with the country of origin. The marking requirements may be met by marking the outermost container that reaches the ultimate purchaser.

The packers of the insoles and footpads are considered to be the ultimate purchasers of the plastic pouches. Therefore, the pouches may be excepted from individual marking provided the shipping containers in which they are imported are marked to indicate the country of origin of the pouches, and the Customs officers at the port of entry are satisfied that the shipping containers will reach the ultimate purchaser unopened. In the alternative, the product may be marked as per your sample with the phrase “Packaging made in China.”

The statement "Insoles crafted in the USA" presents another difficulty, since such a statement is not acceptable unless the contents of the packaging pouch are of American origin. This marking is acceptable only if there is sufficient evidence to satisfy the port director at the port of entry that the pouches will be used only to package goods made in the United States.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 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 Joan Mazzola at 646-733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

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