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NY L89736

January 17, 2006

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:231 L89736


Ms. Carol J. Glaser
Commodity Services Manager
Riviana Foods, Inc.
2777 Allen Parkway, 16th Floor
Houston, TX 77019


Dear Ms. Glaser:

This is in response to your letter dated January 9, 2006, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking, “Product of India,” is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported Basmati Rice if another marking, such as the name and U.S. address of the importer, appears on the article which is a country or locality other than the actual country of origin of the article. A sample of the proposed artwork for the product packaging was submitted with your letter for review.

You state in your letter that the product you wish to import, “Mahatma” brand basmati rice, will be shipped from India to Spain, where it will be packaged for retail sale in metalized foil standup pouches, each holding 32 ounces, net. One side of the proposed pouch label consists of a display panel with the following consumer information, in descending order: Nutrition Facts; an ingredient listing; the name and address of the U.S. importer, followed immediately by the legend, “PRODUCT OF INDIA,” in identical bold print and upper case letters of the same size as those used to identify the importer, followed by a space. Below, in non-bolded print and in normal lower case lettering, the name and location of the foreign packager appears, as “Packed by [name and city of packaging facility], 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. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134) implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), deals with cases 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, and those words, letters or names may mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser as to the actual country of origin. In such a case, 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.

Accordingly, 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 other than the actual country of origin appears.

The proposed marking of imported “Mahatma” brand basmati rice, as described above, satisfies the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is an acceptable country of origin marking.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 181).

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 Thomas P. Brady at 646-733-3030.


Robert B. Swierupski

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