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NY K81619

December 15, 2003

MAR-2 RR:NC:N1:113 K81619


Ms. Francene C. Hinds
JAV International Incorporated
500 Ocean Avenue
East Rockaway, NY 11518


Dear Ms. Hinds:

This is in response to your letter dated December 2, 2003, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking "Made in China" on a paper tag is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported keychains. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

The samples you provided are four keychains of different styles. Each keychain has been marked with a paper tag with the words "Made in China." The tag has been slipped onto the split ring portion of the keychain.

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.

In this case, the paper tag is conspicuous; however, it is not sufficiently permanent. The paper is so flimsy, that the marking can be removed readily and without difficulty. The tag does not even have to be pulled through the split ring. The tag tears off so easily that it is it is difficult to believe that the marking will survive even ordinary handling. There are many methods of sufficient marking available. We recommend that you contact the import specialist at your local port for advice on proper country of origin marking.

The proposed marking of imported keychains, as described above, is not permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is not an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported keychains.

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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