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NY L87874

October 24, 2005

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:228 L87874


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


Dear Ms. Glaser:

This is in response to your letter dated October 19, 2005 requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking for two rice puddings is an acceptable country of origin marking. The country of origin marking for these products was the subject of ruling NY L87737, issued to you on October 12, 2005. You have now revised the packaging and submitted reduced scale copies for review.

Success Rice brand Rice Pudding and Chocolate Flavored Rice Pudding are pre-cooked, ready to eat rice puddings put up for retail sale in sealed plastic cups containing 5.6 ounces. Two cups are packed together in a cardboard sleeve, eight sleeves per case. The top and front panel of the sleeve show the brand, name of the product, weight, and an illustrated serving suggestion. The rear panel shows nutritional information, cooking 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, company telephone number and hours, website for recipes and information, customer satisfaction guarantee, and an address (Success Rice Riviana Kitchens, Houston, TX) the consumer may use to request refunds pursuant to the guarantee. Below the address, in upper case letters and in approximately the same size type, are the words “product of Spain.”

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 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 of these two rice puddings, as described above, is conspicuous, legible, and permanent, and satisfies the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134. It is an acceptable country of origin marking.

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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