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NY N010676

May 14, 2007

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:240


Mr. Tomas J. Lindmeier
300 Jackson Place
13th & Jackson Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68102


Dear Mr. Lindmeier:

This is in response to your letter dated April 23, 2007, on behalf of your client Moss Busters, LLC, requesting a ruling on whether the imported container of oregano oil is required to be marked with the country of origin if it is later to be processed in the U.S. by a U.S. manufacturer. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review. You also requested a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements of the processed oregano oil in the U.S. after importation.

You state that Moss Busters, LLC will import 99 percent pure oregano essential oil from Turkey and Greece. Oregano oil, when diluted, is used as a seasoning or flavoring. The import container will be marked with either “Made in Turkey” or “Made in Greece”, to indicate the country of origin where the oregano oil is grown and produced. Upon importation, the oregano oil will be further manufactured in the U.S. by Moss Busters, LLC. Xanthan gum, arabinogalactan and distilled water will be added to the oregano oil to produce a new article of commerce known as moss desiccant. The new formulation contains over 90 percent water, and only 1 to 1 1/2 percent oregano essential oil. A substantial transformation occurs with the addition of the xanthan gum, arabinogalactan and distilled water. The new manufactured product will be packaged for retail sale for use as a moss desiccant. You state that the retail containers of the moss desiccant will be marked with the identity of the distributor and a U.S. address.

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 134.41(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. 19 CFR 134.1(d)(1) states that if an imported article will be used in manufacture, the manufacturer may be the ultimate purchaser if he subjects the imported article to a process which results in a substantial transformation of the article. Section 134.35, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 134.35), implementing the principle of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., provides that an article used in the U.S. in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character, or use different from that of the imported article will be considered substantially transformed, and therefore, the manufacturer or processor in the U.S. who converts or combines the imported article into the different article will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the imported article within the contemplation of 19 U.S.C. §1304(a). Accordingly, the article shall be excepted from marking. Only the outermost container of the imported article shall be marked to indicate the country of origin of the article. By application of 19 CFR 134.35, the oregano essential oil is excepted from the country of origin marking requirement of section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1920 as amended, and part 134, CBP Regulations, and only the outermost container of the imported oregano essential oil is required to be marked with either “Made in Turkey” or “Made in Greece” until it reaches its ultimate purchaser Moss Busters, LLC. Oregano essential oil of 99 percent purity is substantially transformed when used in the U.S. to produce a moss desiccant in the manner described above. The moss desiccant, the manufactured article for retail sale in the U.S., consisting of the oregano oil, xanthan gum, arabinogalactan, and distilled water does not need to be marked.

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 Stephanie Joseph at 646-733-3268.


Robert B. Swierupski

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