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HQ 563021

July 7, 2004

MAR-2 RR:CR:SM 563021 KSG


Mr. John Zincani
Kuehne & Nagel
10 Exchange Place
Jersey City, NJ 07302

RE: Country of origin marking for airline amenities kits

Dear Mr. Zincani:

This is in response to your submission of March 12, 2004, on behalf of Product Plus International Ltd., requesting a binding ruling regarding the appropriate country of origin marking of airline amenities kits. You submitted several samples for our review.


This case involves various airline amenities kits, each containing different items. There are four different kits included in this ruling request. All of the kits are distributed to airline passengers free of charge. Each kit will be distributed inside a heat-sealed clear plastic bag.

An example would be the first class kit which is a nylon amenities case with socks, eyeshades, tissues, toothpick, earplugs, toothbrush, lip balm, lotion, toothpaste, and mouthwash inside it. The other kits, which have similar contents, are the business class kit, the Ron kit and the arrivals kit.

You propose to mark the kits by inserting a paper label listing the country of origin of all the items in the kit, between the sealed plastic bag and the nylon amenities case. No kit will be distributed to a passenger if it is not contained in a sealed plastic bag. In the alternative, you propose to mark the kits by placing an adhesive label or a hangtag on the kit listing the country of origin of all the contents. You propose to enter certain kits under a Transportation and Exportation Bond and not mark those kits.


What are the country of origin marking requirements applicable to the airline amenities kits?


Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin 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. Congressional intent in enacting 19 U.S.C. 1304 was "that the ultimate purchaser should be able to know by an inspection of the marking on the imported goods the country of which the goods is the product. The evident purpose 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 (1940). Part 134 of the Customs Regulations implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

You correctly stated in your letter that pursuant to 19 CFR 134.1(d)(4), the ultimate purchaser of a gift (unless the good is an article of a NAFTA country) is the recipient, in this case, the airline passenger.

With regard to assembled kits, CBP stated in T.D. 91-7, dated January 8, 1991, that "the tariff treatment of an article under the HTSUS [ Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States] generally has no effect on the country of origin marking requirements under 19 U.S.C. 1304." CBP held that the mere inclusion of an item in a collection will not substantially transform it into an article with a new name, character or use and, therefore, each imported item included in the kit retains its own country of origin.

CBP has previously said that either marking all of the imported items with their country of origin or marking the outermost container in which the items are contained and received by the ultimate purchaser would satisfy 19 U.S.C. 1304. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (“HRL”) 558957, dated April 17, 1995. In this case, since the items are received in a sealed container, marking the container by inserting the country of origin label inside the clear plastic bag, would satisfy 19 U.S.C. 1304, provided the marking or label is clearly visible through the bag.

You also asked if kits entered under a Transportation and Exportation bond are exempt from country of origin marking. Pursuant to 19 CFR 134.32(j), articles entered or withdrawn from warehouse for immediate exportation or for transportation and exportation are excepted from marking. Accordingly, if certain kits are properly entered under a Transportation and Exportation bond, those kits would be excepted from marking.


Based on the information provided, the imported individual items must be marked with their country of origin. Inserting the country of origin label inside the clear plastic bag, would satisfy 19 U.S.C. 1304. If certain kits are properly entered under a Transportation and Exportation bond, those kits would be excepted from marking pursuant to 19 CFR 134.32(j).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the CBP officer handling the transaction.


Myles B. Harmon
Director, Commercial Rulings Division

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