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NY K84519

April 21, 2004

MAR-2 RR:NC:TA:349 K84519


Ms. Margaret R. Polito
Neville Peterson LLP
80 Broad Street, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10004


Dear Ms. Polito:

This is in response to your letter dated March 23, 2004 requesting a ruling on whether the proposed header card marking is an acceptable country of origin marking for bed sheet sets. A marked sample was not submitted. This request is made on behalf of WestPoint Stevens Inc. of West Point, Georgia.

The bed sheet sets will be made from fabric that is woven in the United States or in Pakistan. The U.S. fabric and the imported Pakistani fabric will be cut and sewn in the United States, creating the sheet sets. The same style sheet set may be made from either fabric. You note that the origin of each roll of fabric is traced throughout the production cycle, and the finished products are correctly labeled with their country of origin. This request concerns the marking of the packaging.

The header cards that are packaged with the sheet sets depict the bedding in the package and indicate the size, fiber content, thread count and advertising literature. You propose to use the same header card for sheets produced from fabric woven in the United States and from fabric woven in Pakistan. The header will contain the following language:

 Made in USA
 Made in Pakistan, Cut and Sewn in the United States

The appropriate country of origin of the particular bedding at issue will be indicated on the header by checking the appropriate box.

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.

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. 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. As to location and methods, 19 CFR 134.44 provides that any method of marking at any location insuring that marking will conspicuously appear is acceptable. The marking must be legible and sufficiently permanent that it will remain on the article (or its container) until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed.

The phrase “Made in Pakistan, Cut and Sewn in the United States” is acceptable country of origin marking for bed sheet sets that are manufactured in the United States from fabric that was woven in Pakistan. Approval of markings of “Made in USA” is within the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and not Customs and Border Protection. Any inquiries regarding its use should be directed to that agency at the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Division of Enforcement, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20508.

The issue of check-off boxes was addressed in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 734403 dated March 11, 1992. That ruling concerned the country of origin marking for produce containers. The containers were to be marked with the phrase “_____ Produce of Mexico/ _____ Produce of U.S.A.” and the importer would check of the appropriate box based on the origin of the contents. HQ 734403 stated that “ indicating the country of origin of fresh produce by means of a square to be filled in by hand next to the name of the country of origin is acceptable for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134. Thus, an importer may utilize a container marked " ______ Produce of Mexico/ ______Produce of U.S.A." and check off the appropriate country when the country of origin of the produce is determined.”

You have stated that the bed sheet sets will be labeled with the correct country of origin. Provided the other requirements of permanence, legibility, and conspicuousness are satisfied, indicating the country of origin on the header card by the means of the check-off boxes described above is an acceptable country of origin marking for the sheet set packaging and meets the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134.

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 John Hansen at 646-733-3043.


Robert B. Swierupski

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