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NY K88976

September 14, 2004

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:221 K88976


TARIFF NO: 3924.10.4000

Ms. Darlene D. Jones
Schenker, Inc.
192 Ballard Court, Suite 200
Virginia Beach, VA 23462


Dear Ms. Jones:

This is in response to your letter dated July 26, 2004, on behalf of Rubbermaid, Inc., requesting a ruling on classification and country of origin marking for an imported plastic cheese keeper and mixer/shaker. Samples were submitted with your letter for review and will be returned as you requested.

SKU 17 is described as a store and slice cheese keeper with cutting board base. The cheese keeper is a storage container that fits a block of cheese. The lid is attached to a slide-out tray that also functions as a cutting board. The container, lid and tray components are all made in China.

SKU 14 is described as a mixer-mate shaker. It consists of a 22-ounce container with volume measurements on the side and a domed lid. The lid features a covered spout for pouring and drinking. There is a grid insert that enhances the mixing capability. The container, lid, spout cover and grid components are all made in China.

The applicable subheading for the plastic cheese keeper and mixer/shaker will be 3924.10.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics: tableware and kitchenware: other. The rate of duty will be 3.4 percent ad valorem.

Neither of the articles is marked with the country of origin. You state that the cheese keeper and shaker will be imported in retail boxes, and you submitted samples of the artwork for the retail boxes.

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 cheese keeper and mixer shaker are not marked with the country of origin. An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. If Customs is satisfied that the article will remain in its container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the products by viewing the container in which it is packaged, the individual articles would be excepted from marking under this provision.

The artwork submitted with your request indicates that the country of origin will be shown on one side panel and on the bottom of the retail container in which the kitchen articles will be packaged. Cheese keepers and shakers that are imported in containers that are marked in the manner described above are excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d). Accordingly, marking the container in which the cheese keepers and shakers are imported and sold to the ultimate purchaser in lieu of marking the article itself is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported products provided the port director is satisfied that the articles will remain in the marked containers until they reach the ultimate purchaser.

The side panel includes the words “Distributed by Rubbermaid Foodservice Products, Huntersville, NC, U.S.A. 28078-1801.” Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), deals with cases in which the words "United States," or "American," the letters "U.S.A.," any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appears on an imported article or its container, and those words, letters or names may mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser as to the actual country of origin. In such a case, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters, or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," Product of," or other words of similar meaning. Your artwork shows that the words “Made in China” appear just below and to the right of the domestic address and in comparable size lettering. This marking complies with the requirements of Section 134.46.

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 Joan Mazzola at 646-733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

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