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NY J89998

October 21, 2003

MAR-2 RR:NC:TA:359: J89998


Ms. Kim Young
BDP International, Inc.
2721 Walker Avenue, N.W.
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49504


Dear Ms. Young:

This is in response to your letter dated October 6, 2003, submitted on behalf of your client, Meijer Distribution, which requested a ruling on whether the proposed marking "Knitted in Taiwan, Finished in China" is an acceptable country of origin marking for an imported woman’s sweater. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review. This sample is returned as requested.

The sample, Style R0206, is a woman’s knitted pullover sweater that consists of 90% acrylic, 10% wool fibers. The jersey knit fabric of the sweater has nine or fewer stitches per two centimeters, measured in the direction in which the stitches are formed. The sweater features a v-shaped neckline, long sleeves with a five-inch side slit at the end of each sleeve, and a rib knit waistband. The ends of the sleeves and the neckline are finished with decorative crocheted trim. You state that the sweater “will be knit to shape in Taiwan and the panels will be linked, stitched, washed and packed in China”. According to the rules for determining the country of origin of textiles and textile apparel (Customs Regulations, Section 102.21; 19 C.F.R. 102.21), and noting the particular production process for this sweater as you have presented it to us in your requesting letter, the country of origin is the country where the fabric panels are knit to shape [C.R., Section 102.21(c)(3)]. In this instance that country is Taiwan.

At the top of the inside rear neckline there are two fabric labels. One contains identifying commercial information: “FALLS CREEK”; while the second label, which is immediately next to the first, gives the fiber content of the sweater, the Registered Number of the company, the size of the garment, the stated country of origin and an instruction for finding information on garment care. The country of origin information that is stated on this label is “Knitted in Taiwan Finished in China”. All of the letters used on this label are legible, permanent and of equal size. The first part of the phrase, namely, the “Knitted in Taiwan” is placed on top of the second part, that is the “Finished in China”. You ask whether the proposed country of origin information that is found on the second label, namely, “Knitted in Taiwan, Finished in China”, is an acceptable marking under the marking statute.

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. The statute intends to ensure that the ultimate purchaser will know by inspecting the marking on the imported goods, the country in which those goods are produced.

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R., Part 134) implements the country of origin marking requirements. 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.

For textile wearing apparel the use of a sewn fabric label on which is indicated the required information has long been considered acceptable [Treasury Decision (T.D.) 54640(6), dated July 15, 1958, noted]. We believe that the information that is present on your labels is clear, legible and conspicuous. In addition, Customs has previously determined that the phrase “Knit in” is similar in meaning to “Made in” or “Product of” for the purpose of country of origin marking. Therefore, the use of the phrase “Knitted in Taiwan” is acceptable marking to indicate the country of origin of your sample, the woman’s knitted sweater, Style R0206. (Headquarters’ decision HQ 560178, dated November 29, 1996, noted).

That same ruling also indicated that once an article is correctly marked as to its country of origin, there exists no additional requirement to show the location of other aspects of the manufacturing process. However, if such a reference should be made, then the requirements of Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R., 134.46) must be satisfied. Thus, wherever the name of any country other than the country of origin in which the good is produced appears on an imported article or its container, “there shall (also) appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such 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.”

The proposed marking of the imported sweater, Style R0206, 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 sweater.

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 Mike Crowley at 646-733-3049.


Robert B. Swierupski

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