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NY N003110

November 27, 2006

MAR-2 RR:NC: TA:361


Ms. Jeanette Wong
Traffic/customs Administrator
Jana Group Partnership
8680 Cambie Street


Dear Ms Wong:

This is in response to your letter dated November 7, 2006 requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported women’s tops. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

The submitted garment is a woman’s top with an asymmetrical neckline. The top has a one shoulder strap and a plain hemmed bottom. The upper edge of the garment is held in place by the shoulder strap on one side, and continues below the arm on the other side. The garment also has a shelf bra liner. The garment is marked with the country of origin on a textile label sewn on the side seam one inch below the top. You have recommended that the garment be marked in this manner due to the construction of the garment.

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.

In T.D. 54640(6), Customs ruled that shirts, blouses and sweaters must be marked by means of a fabric label sewn on the inside center of the neck midway between the shoulder seams or in that immediate area. Nevertheless, Customs has allowed some leeway for cowl neck and reversible garments that are otherwise conspicuously, permanently and legibly marked in accord with 19 U.S.C. §1304 and 19 CFR 134. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 709180, dated June 19, 1978 (a cowl neck sweater with country of origin label affixed to the waist seam allowable); HRL 731513, dated November 15, 1988 (a reversible ladies jacket with the country of origin on a paper hangtag attached to the neck area of the garment was allowed); HRL 734692, dated October 31, 1992 (reversible jackets marked with two country of origin labels, one sewn into the inside pocket and one on a hangtag attached to the zipper was acceptable); HRL 734889, dated June 2, 1993 (a sewn-in label at the neck was not mandated under 19 U.S.C. §1304 for reversible jean jackets) and HRL 561255, dated January 29, 1999 (allowed alternate marking on a front-to-back reversible garment).

The proposed marking of the imported top, as described above, is conspicuously, legibly and permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported top.

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 Angela DeGaetano at 646-733-3052.


Robert B. Swierupski

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