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NY L80515





November 18, 2004

MAR-2 RR:NC:TA:N3:356 L80515

CATEGORY: MARKING

Mr. Bradley A. Thompson
B.O.A., Inc.
580 W. Lambert Road, Building L
Brea, CA 92821

RE: COUNTRY OF ORIGIN MARKING OF IMPORTED MEN’S KNIT GARMENTS

Dear Mr. Thompson:

This is in response to your letter dated September 16, 2004, and subsequent information received on October 22, 2004, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed method of marking and location of the origin label is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported men’s knit garments. A sample was submitted with your inquiry for review.

The submitted sample is a men’s garment that is similar to a tank top. The garment is constructed from 100 percent polyester, finely knit mesh fabric that measures 30 stitches per two centimeters counted in the horizontal direction. The sample has a low, round front neckline; a rear neckline that reaches below the nape of the neck; shoulder straps that measure two and one-quarter inches in width; oversized armholes; and a straight, hemmed bottom.

You state that, due to considerations of comfort, you would like to use heat transfer labels on the inside of the rear neckline to show your brand name and the size of the garment. However, due to the cost of the variations of such labels needed for all sizes, you would like to place the sewn-in label normally found at the rear neckline, showing the fiber content, country of origin and care instructions, in the lower left side seam near the hem.

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 United States 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. Section 134.1(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(d)) defines the “ultimate purchaser” generally as the last person in the United States who will receive the article in the form in which it is imported. Since the sample garments are intended for retail sale, the retail customer is considered the ultimate purchaser for the purpose of country of origin marking.

In T.D. 54640(6), Customs determined that country of origin marking appearing on the inside center of the neck of a shirt, mid-way between the shoulder seams or in that immediate area, is conspicuous within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

In HQ 562700 dated June 10, 2003, a finely knit garment that was marked by means of a screen print located in the center of the rear neckline stating the country of origin in contrasting colors and in a lettering size that was clearly legible and conspicuous satisfied the marking requirements of Section 304 of the Tariff Act. Consequently, the use of a heat seal that shows the country of origin legibly and conspicuously in the center rear neckline would be considered an acceptable country of origin marking.

However, the proposed sewn-in country of origin label located in the lower side seam is not easily and readily visible to the ultimate purchaser. Therefore, the country of origin label located in the lower side seam of the imported garment is not conspicuous and does not constitute an acceptable country of origin marking in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134.

Textile fiber products imported into the United States must also be labeled in accordance with the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act and the rules promulgated thereunder by the Federal Trade Commission. Information on these labeling requirements may be obtained at the Federal Trade Commission website at www.ftc.gov.

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 Mary Ryan at 646-733-3271.

Sincerely,

Robert B. Swierupski
Director,
National Commodity

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