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NY L84679

May 13, 2005

MAR-2 RR:NC:SP:225 L84679


Ms. Teresa V. Healy
FedEx Trade Networks
Transport & Brokerage, Inc.
6730 Middlebelt Road
Romulus, MI 48174


Dear Ms. Healy:

This is in response to your letter dated April 15, 2005, on behalf of your client, Educo International, Inc., requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking "MADE IN CHINA" is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported toys if another marking appears on the articles which is a country or locality other than the actual country of origin. Marked samples were submitted with your letter for review (item WC1050405, Woody Click, item MW892084, Scraper, item BEL40235, Funny Steps, item BAM895070, Castella Bamboo Collection Games, item HC 850061, Hot & Cool Days, and item QU849080, Quadrilla Fun Set 3).

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. Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), requires that in any case 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, 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.      In order to satisfy the close proximity requirement, the country of origin marking must generally appear on the same side or surface in which the name or locality other than the actual country of origin appears.

These two toys fail to meet these marking requirements:

Item WC1050405, Woody Click, has printed in red on the side of its cardboard box packaging “DESIGN + QUALITY HaPe INTERNATIONALl LTD. SWITZERLAND” and repeated again in a smaller red font. To the right is printed “HaPe INTERNATIONAL LTD. ALSFELDERSTRASSE 41 35325 MUCKE GERMANY.” This writing is also in red, and draws your attention to the countries of Switzerland and Germany. In addition, this red print stands out in size from the other black printing below, which includes the ASTM number, a child safety warning, eight lines of Chinese characters, the importer’s address in Canada and website (in blue print). To the right is a box with the bar code and underneath it the words “MADE IN CHINA” in black print in smaller type size and boldness than the bar code numbers, where it can be easily missed. Moreover, the type size for “MADE IN CHINA” is approximately ½ the size of the red printed Switzerland and Germany above.

Item BEL40235, Funny Steps, has printed in red on a sticker on the back of its cardboard hangtag “HaPe INTERNATIONALl LTD. SWITZERLAND.” Underneath the sticker is printed in blue “Olbernhau Germany” and beneath that in smaller blue type size lettering “MADE IN CHINA.”

The marking “MADE IN CHINA” must be the same type size as the other countries cited, and set apart in a prominent location where the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain as required in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b).

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 Alice Wong at 646-733-3026.


Robert B. Swierupski

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