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NY L81735

January 4, 2005

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:234 L81735


Mr. Jason Freeman
Santoro Graphics Ltd.
Rotunda Point
11 Hartfield Crescent
Wimbledon, London SW19 3RL
United Kingdom


Dear Mr. Freeman:

This is in response to your letters dated December 2nd and December 17th, 2004, requesting a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements for imported Santoro Graphics “Swing Cards” ® which are assembled in China from components manufactured in the U.K., and then shipped direct from Hong Kong to the U.S. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review. It reads “Printed in England”.

The “Swing Cards” are “interactive” message cards, imported each with a suitable mailing envelope, featuring movable parts, such as soccer players on a field of play, dolphins leaping in a surf, a tractor moving against the background of a farmhouse. All components, including packaging materials, are manufactured in the U.K. and will be shipped to the factory in China, where shaped die-cut pieces of paper will be pushed out of the sheet on which they are printed and cut, and, using folds and in some cases stickers, assembled into the completed “Swing Card”.

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.

The "country of origin" is defined in 19 CFR 134.1(b) as "the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the 'country of origin' within the meaning of this part. For tariff purposes, the courts have held that a substantial transformation occurs if a new and different article emerges having a distinctive name, character or use. AnheuserBusch Brewing Association v. The United States, 207 U.S. 556 (1908) and Uniroyal Inc. v. United States, 542 F. Supp. 1026 (1982).

In this case, the assembly process does not result in a substantial transformation. Customs has long held that the mere assembly of goods, entailing simple combining operations, is not enough to substantially transform the components of an article into a new and different article of commerce.

The subject “Swing Cards” are products of the United Kingdom, and the existing marking, “Printed in England”, satisfies the country of origin marking laws and regulations of the United States.

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 Carl Abramowitz, at 646-733-3037.


Robert B. Swierupski

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