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NY L87737

October 12, 2005

MAR-2 RR:NC:N2:228 L87737


Ms. Carol Glaser
Riviana Foods Inc.
P.O. Box 2636
Houston, TX 77252


Dear Ms. Glaser:

This is in response to your letter dated September 21, 2005, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking of two rice puddings is an acceptable country of origin marking. Samples of the products and copies of the proposed packaging, reduced in size, were submitted for review. The samples were examined and disposed of.

The products are vanilla and chocolate flavored Success Rice brand Rice Pudding, put up for retail sale in sealed plastic cups containing 4.4 ounces. Two cups are packed together in a cardboard sleeve, eight sleeves per case. Each case, marked “product of Spain” on the bottom, measures 15.625 inches by 7.5 inches by 5.25 inches. The top and front panel of the sleeve show the brand, an illustrated serving suggestion, and the product’s weight. The rear panel shows nutritional information, preparation instructions, a list of ingredients, the name and address of the U.S. distributor, Riviana Foods Inc., Houston, TX, and on the same line, the words “product of Spain” in the same size and type. The bottom of the sleeve shows the proof of purchase bar code, trademark information, customer satisfaction guarantee, name and address of the company, company telephone and hours, and website for recipes and information. The country of origin information does not appear on the bottom sleve panel.

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.

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 in which the article was manufactured or produced, appears on an imported article or its container, there shall appear, legibly an 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(s) or surface(s) in which the name or locality or other than the actual country of origin appears.

The proposed marking for the vanilla and chocolate puddings, as described above, does not satisfy the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134. In addition to marking the rear sleeve panel “product of Spain” as indicated, this same marking must also appear on the bottom sleeve panel, in close proximity to “Houston, TX.”

This merchandise is subject to The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (The Bioterrorism Act), which is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Information on the Bioterrorism Act can be obtained by calling FDA at telephone number (301) 575-0156, or at the Web site www.fda.gov/oc/bioterrorism/bioact.html.

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 Stanley Hopard at 646-733-3029.


Robert B. Swierupski

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