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NY K81461

December 18, 2003

MAR-2 RR:NC:WA:361 NY K81461


Ms. Maristella Iacobello,
Customs Compliance Manager
Phillips - Van Heusen Corp.
200 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10018

RE: Country of origin marking of a woman’s T-shirt

Dear Ms. Iacobello:

This is in response to your letter dated November 20, 2003, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking on the submitted T-shirt is an acceptable country of origin marking.

Style DL6167 is a woman’s T-shirt constructed from 89 percent cotton, 11 percent spandex lightweight knit fabric. The pullover has a rounded neckband, and short sleeves. The neckline, sleeves and bottom are have rolled finished edges.

You have requested that the garment be marked to indicate country of origin by means of a label sewn into the side seam approximately three inches above the bottom. You have indicated that the garment should be marked in this manner, rather than with a label sewn in the nape of the neck, because a neck label would show through the back of the garment on this lightweight fabric and the effect would be visually unpleasing.

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.

Concerning the location of the marking, Treasury Decision (T.D.) 54640(6) (1958) provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

...wearing apparel, such as shirts, blouses, coats and sweaters, etc., must be legibly and conspicuously marked with the name of the country of origin by means of a fabric label or label made from natural or synthetic film sewn or otherwise permanently affixed on the inside center of the neck midway between the shoulder seams or in that immediate area or otherwise permanently marked in that area in some other manner.

Exceptions have been made to the above indicated location for certain specific garments, such as: reversible garments; garments that may be worn either front to back or back to front; and garments that do not have a neckline. The submitted garment does not fall into any of these exceptions. Therefore, the proposed marking of the T-shirts, as described above, is not considered to be conspicuously placed, as required by the above cited TD. Therefore the proposed parking does not satisfy the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is an not an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported items.

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 Angela De Gaetano at 646-733-3052.


Robert B. Swierupski

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