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NY R00028

November 20, 2003

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:230 R00028


Mr. Joseph R. Hoffacker
Barthco Trade Consultants
7575 Holstein Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19153


Dear Mr. Hoffacker:

This is in response to your letter dated November 3, 2003, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking, as described below, is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported wooden doors. The request is made on behalf of the shipper, Swartland Group of Atlantis, South Africa.

A photograph of the proposed marking was submitted with your letter for our review. The wooden doors are marked on their bottom edges with stick-on labels and with indelible ink stamps. All markings state “Made in the Republic of South Africa.” You inquire whether both markings are required or if either of the markings alone would suffice.

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.

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.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

The submitted photograph shows the ends of a stack of ten doors. Each door has two stick-on labels that are clearly legible and easy to find. If the labels will remain on the doors until they reach the ultimate purchaser, one or more labels alone would be acceptable for marking the wooden doors.

Each door also an ink stamp that is conspicuous and permanent. One of the ten stamps appears to have run out of ink and is not fully readable and another one of the stamps appears to have too much ink and is a little smudged. The majority of the stamps, however, are clearly legible. If used carefully in order to be legible, the ink stamp alone is an acceptable method of marking wooden doors.

We find that either one of the two proposed methods of marking of imported wooden doors, 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.

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise description as identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

This ruling is being issued under the assumption that the subject goods, in their condition as imported into the United States, conform to the facts and the description as set forth both in the ruling request and in this ruling. In the event that the facts or merchandise are modified in any way, you should bring this to the attention of Customs and you should resubmit for a new ruling in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2. You should also be aware that the material facts described in the foregoing ruling may be subject to periodic verification by the Customs Service.

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 Paul Garretto at 646-733-3035.


Robert B. Swierupski

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