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NY K80534

November 21, 2003
MAR-2 RR:NC:N1:113 K80534


Mr. Robert D. Stang
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
800 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006


Dear Mr. Stang:

This is in response to your letter dated November 4, 2003, on behalf of Chief Manufacturing, Inc., requesting a ruling on country-of-origin marking of imported flat panel mount parts. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

The sample you provided is a flat panel mount. The cast metal parts will be imported in bulk into the United States. At the time of importation, the individual components manufactured in China will be packaged in small individual boxes for protective purposes. The smaller boxes will be placed inside larger boxes for shipping. After Chief Mfg. receives the boxes, the parts will be unpacked and assembled with a number of minor components of US origin to form the final assembled article. The facts in this matter do not show that the simple process of assembly constitutes a substantial transformation of the parts. Therefore, the assembled article remains a product of China.

Chief Mfg. Intends to mark the retail outer carton and the completed article with the words “Made in China.” The marking of the mount will be on the pitch mechanism where it will be conspicuous to any purchaser or installer.

Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that 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 an ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article. 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 C.C.P.A. 297, 302, C.A.D. 104 (1940). The ultimate purchaser is the last person in the United States who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. The company that will assemble the parts is the last to receive the parts in their condition as imported.

Therefore, it is not necessary to individually mark the parts with the country of origin, provided that the boxes in which the parts are packaged are marked, and the parts reach the assembler in the marked boxes. The ultimate purchaser of the completed article is the consumer who receives the assembled mount. Marking on the mount, as per your sample, is adequate to indicate the country of origin to the final consumer of the assembled product.

Section 134.26 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.26),which applies to articles that are repacked or manipulated after importation, provides the following:

(a) Certification requirements. If an article subject to these requirements is intended to be repacked in retail containers (e.g., blister packs) after its release from Customs custody, or if the district director having custody of the article, has reason to believe such article will be repacked after its release, the importer shall certify to the district director that: (1) if the importer does the repacking, he shall not obscure or conceal the country of origin marked to indicate the country of origin of the article, or else the new container shall be marked to indicate the country of origin of the article in accordance with the requirements of this part; or (2) if the article is intended to be sold or transferred to a subsequent purchaser or repacker, the importer shall notify such purchaser or transferee, in writing, at the time of sale or transfer, that any repacking of the article must conform to these requirements.

Since the mounts will be assembled and repackaged after importation into the U.S., they are subject to the requirements of section 134.34, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.34), which provides that an exception from marking may be authorized in 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 article to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S.; (2) The importer arranges for supervision of the marking of the containers. Therefore, approval for marking the retail package instead of the individual rings must be obtained from the port director at the port of entry.

Therefore, the imported parts may be excepted from individual marking pursuant to 19 CFR 134.32(d), provided that Customs officials at the port of entry are satisfied that the articles will reach the ultimate purchaser in properly marked containers and the certification requirements of 19 CFR 134.26 are executed. The phrase “Made in China” is acceptable.

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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