United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2005 NY Rulings > NY L88695 - NY L88744 > NY L88699

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY L88699

November 23, 2005

MAR-2 RR:NC:N1:118 L88699


Mr. Michael Jackson, Esq.
Meeks, Sheppard & Pillsbury
100 Newport Center, Suite 220
Newport Beach, CA 92660


Dear Mr. Jackson:

This is in response to your letter, dated November 1, 2005, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed method of marking the package in which a kitchen knife with a sharpener/stand is imported with the country of origin, in lieu of marking the article itself, is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported merchandise. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

The “Power Knife” consists of a plastic, non-slip handle attached to a high carbon stainless steel blade in the shape of an Alaskan ulu knife. A sharpener/stand is also included with the “Power Knife.” The merchandise is made and packaged in China. The “Power Knife” with its sharpener/stand is encased in a sealed, clear plastic package with a cardboard insert. The front and rear of the cardboard insert states the product’s name, “Power Knife.” The upper left hand corner of both the front and rear of the cardboard insert also prominently displays “Alaska Jack’s,” a trademarked name as registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The bottom rear of the cardboard insert indicates, in bold letters, “Alaska Jack’s” U.S. address, followed by “Made in China,” in the same font and size, but not in bold letters.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 USC 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States 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.

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 USC 1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 134.41(b)], mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d) defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the “Power Knife” is the consumer who purchases the product at retail.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 USC 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 134.32(d)], if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such 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 country of origin marking, “Made in China,” is not emboldened, and hence, is significantly less visible than the emboldened U.S. address. The marking “Made in China,” on your submitted sample is not considered conspicuous or to be in close proximity to the trade name.

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 Kathy Campanelli at 646-733-3021.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling