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NY N012837

June 21, 2007

MAR-2 RR:E:NC:1:128


Mr. Troy Crago
Atico International USA, Inc.
501 South Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301


Dear Mr. Crago:

This is in response to your letter dated June 14, 2007 requesting a ruling on an acceptable country of origin marking for imported candle plates and candles. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

The merchandise under consideration is identified as a Candle Set, Item Number A076CA00802. The set contains one leaf-shaped candle plate made of 100% dolomite ceramic that measures 6.5” in width by 7.5” in length and is 20% of the set’s value, and one pillar candle made of 100% paraffin wax that measures 3” in diameter by 3” in height. The candle is unscented with an embossed leaves design and is 80% of the set’s value. In your letter you indicate that the candle plate is manufactured in China, where it is then shipped to Vietnam to be packaged together with the candle, which is manufactured in Vietnam. The candle plate and pillar candle are tied together with an organza material ribbon as a set. No additional packing or binding material is used. The set will be shipped to the U.S. ready for retail sale in this condition. You have submitted photographs depicting representative Candle Sets in various colors.

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 the exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)), defines “country of origin” as the country of manufacture, production or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the “country of origin” within the meaning of the marking laws and regulations. Since the items are merely packaged in Vietnam, the countries of origin remain China and Vietnam.

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. 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. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the Candle Set is the consumer who purchases the product at retail.

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 (or its container) until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable. In this case, the Candle Set may be marked “Plate made in China, Candle made in Vietnam.” Alternatively, the individual candle plates may be marked, in accordance with the above regulations, to indicate that the candle plates are “Made in China” with the candles separately marked “Made in Vietnam.” In response to your inquiry, the set is not required to be marked to indicate the country of assembly.

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 Sharon Chung at 646-733-3028.


Robert B. Swierupski

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