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NY M87188

November 2, 2006

MAR-2 RR:NC:N2:228 M87188


Ms. DaYoung Cho
Rhee Bros., Inc.
9505 Berger Road
Columbia, MD 21046


Dear Ms. Cho:

This is in response to your letters dated August 28, 2006 and October 3, 2006 requesting a ruling on seed and vegetable products packaged in the United States. Photocopies of the proposed marking were submitted with your letter.

Product nos. 05389D and 05390D are labeled “Roasted Sesame Seed”, the former in a package containing 8 ounces (226 grams) and the latter in a container holding 13.05 ounces (370 grams), net weight. The label for product no. 00094D, “Mixed Grain”, does not indicate the net weight of the contents, but is said to contain 28, 80-gram servings (approximately 2.2 kilograms). The ingredients for these products are goods of four different countries. The sesame seed in products 05389D and 05390D is a product of India, dry roasted and packaged in the United States. Product 00094D is a mixture of Job’s tear, red bean, black bean, corn, and millet from China, mung bean and black sweet rice from Thailand, and barley, sweet brown rice, and brown rice from the United States. The Mixed Grain ingredients are blended in the appropriate proportions and packed. No other process is performed on these ingredients.

Country of origin marking for the two Roasted Sesame Seed products appears on the label below the Nutrition Facts panel. For both products, the marking reads “Ingredient: Sesame Seed (India)”, in upper case type. Each label also contains a four-line statement, “Distributed By / Rhee Bros., Inc. / Columbia, MD 21046 Tel. (410) 381-9000 / Packed in U.S.A.” in upper case type. On the 8-ounce package, item 05389D, this information appears directly below the country of origin statement. On the 13.05-ounce package, this is printed at the bottom of an adjacent panel.

The Mixed Grain product, item 00094, has no country of origin marking at all. At the bottom of a panel containing the Nutrition Facts box and UPC symbol, a five-line statement, “Distributed By / Rhee Bros., Inc. / Columbia, MD 21046 Tel. (410) 381-9000 / Korean Farm, Inc. / Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670 Tel. (562) 789-9988” is printed in upper case type.

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), 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.

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 Roasted Sesame Seed products and the Mixed Grain product, as described above, does not satisfy the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134. Both products must indicate the country of origin of all ingredients, identifying them as “products of” their respective countries. The Roasted Sesame Seed products must be marked as a “product of India,” and the Mixed Grain product must be marked as a “product of” China, Thailand, and the United States.

Products of the United States, however, are not subject to the country of origin marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. §1304. Whether an article may be marked with the phrase "Made in the USA", “Product of the USA” or similar words denoting U.S. origin, is an issue under the authority of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). We suggest that you contact the FTC Division of Enforcement, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20508 on the propriety of proposed markings indicating that an article is made in the U.S.

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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