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NY N010026

May 14, 2007

MAR-2 RR:NC:TA:359


Mr. Jon Nelson
Nordstrom, Inc.
Customs Compliance Department
1617 Sixth Avenue, Suite 1000
Seattle, WA 98101-1742


Dear Mr. Nelson:

This is in response to your letter dated April 18, 2007, requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking is an acceptable country of origin marking of a women’s reversible front to back pullover. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

Style NR125308 is a women’s long sleeve pullover constructed of a 88% polyester 12% spandex knitted fabric. The style will be marketed as a reversible front to back garment. The importer states the pullover does not have a defined back meaning the garment can be worn with either the v-shaped neckline or the high jewel neckline worn as the front of the pullover.

The importer intends to mark the inside center of the higher neckline with a removable hang tag with the brand name “Zella” and “Reversible front to back” printed on the front of the label and “Made in China” and the garment size printed on the back of the label. In addition, a label will be sewn-in at the inside side seam with Zella, size, and country of origin printed on the front of the label. The back of the sewn-in label will have the fiber content, care, and RN number. Only design work plans for the hang tag and label were submitted in your request.

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. The marking must survive normal distribution and store handling.

In T.D. 54640(6), Customs determined that, to be conspicuous, the country of origin marking of wearing apparel such as shirts, blouses and sweaters must be accomplished by means of a fabric label or a label made from natural or synthetic film; sewn or otherwise permanently affixed on the inside center of the neck midway between the shoulder seams or in that immediate area or otherwise permanently marked in that area in some other manner. However, Customs has allowed leeway on the standards set forth in T.D. 54640(6) for reversible garments that are otherwise conspicuously, permanently and legibly marked in accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1304. See HRL 733890 dated December 31, 1990 in which a reversible front to back women’s tank top was found to be properly marked by means of a permanent sewn-in label on the inside lower side seam and a hang tag securely attached at the neck.

In this case, the proposed country of origin marking of the reversible garment described above with a hangtag in the neck area and a sewn-in label located in the side seam no more than 2-1/2 inches from the garment bottom would satisfy the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134.

To ensure compliance with the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act (15 U.S.C. 70), which is applicable to textile products, we suggest that you contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for information regarding guidelines for the use of the proposed hangtags. Customs does not issue rulings or decisions interpreting FTC guidelines. The address and website of the FTC follow: Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20580 and www.ftc.gov.

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 Francine Vivona-Brock at 646-733-3049.


Robert B. Swierupski

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