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NY L81278

January 11, 2005

MAR-2 RR:NC:3:353 L81278


Mr./Ms. W J Gonzales
Trans-Union Customs Service, Inc.
11941 S Prairie Avenue
Hawthorne, CA 90250


Dear Mr./Ms. Gonzales:

This is in response to your letter dated December 12, 2004, on behalf of World Class International, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking "Made in China" on the underside of a sweatband is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported golf caps if another marking "USGA®" appears on the article containing a reference of a country or locality other than the actual country of origin of the article. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review and will be returned to you..

The submitted sample is a golf cap consisting of a six-panel crown, each with a vent, a peak and adjustable textile strap in the back. On the front of the crown is circular embroidery that states “2005 U.S. Open Pinehurst No.2” and at the back of the crown is embroidery that states “USGA Member.” The inside of the cap features a sweatband with an approximately 1 x 2 inch label that states "USGA®" and on the reverse side of the sweatband an approximately ¾ x 1 inch label that states “Made in China” in considerably smaller print.

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.

Section 134.47, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.47), provides that when the name of a place other than the country of origin appears as part of a trademark or trade name or as part of a souvenir marking, the name of the actual country of origin must appear in close proximity to the place name "or in some other conspicuous location." Whether the country of origin appears "in close proximity" or in some other conspicuous place, the name of the country of origin must be preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or words of similar meaning. In other words, if the question concerns a trademark, trade name or souvenir marking, the country of origin marking need only meet the general standard of conspicuousness.

The public generally looks at the inside of a cap when searching for a country of origin marking. In this instance the only marking in plain sight states "USGA®." Most purchasers of the cap would not notice the small label on the inside of the sweatband. The proposed marking of the imported golf cap, as described above, does not satisfy the marking requirements of 19 CFR 134.47 and is not an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported golf cap.

You further inquire as the whether the golf cap could be marked with a paper label. This office cannot make this determination without a sample of a golf "USGA®" cap with the proposed marking on a paper label. In addition, you inquire as to a “fiber content, RN or name of importer label.” Hats do not require Textile Fiber Identification Act marking; however, if made of wool, they are subject to the Wool Fiber Act

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 Kenneth Reidlinger at 646-733-3053.


Robert B. Swierupski

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