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NY N016927

September 27, 2007

MAR-2 RR:E:NC:SP:221


Mr. Jeff Hassell
F&F Foods, Inc.
3501 West 48th Place
Chicago, IL 60632


Dear Mr. Hassell:

This is in response to your letter dated September 11, 2007, requesting a ruling on whether imported rolls of plastic film are required to be marked individually or at set intervals with the country of origin if the film 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.

The imported product is polyethylene film heat laminated to polyester film with high quality graphics printed between the two materials. After importation the film will be used in the manufacture of re-sealable zipper-type bags for cough drops. The laminated film measures 2.45 mils in thickness. The graphics include the distributor’s name, product information, directions, drug/supplement facts, an ingredient list and a UPC code. The finished bags are created by mounting the film onto a machine which folds the film in half and inserts a line of polyethylene zipper-type material. The bags are then cut to a predetermined size and heat-sealed, enclosing the cough drops, which are made in the United States, inside.

The laminated film will be imported in rolls weighing up to 50 pounds each. The film itself is not marked with the country of origin. Instead, the rolls of film will be packaged in sealed cases with the country of origin marked on the exterior of each case.

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. The case of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98) (1940), provides that an article used in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article will be considered substantially transformed and that the manufacturer or processor will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the constituent materials. In such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked. See 19 CFR 134.35.

In this instance, the imported film is substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer who forms the film into packaging bags around the cough drops is the ultimate purchaser of the imported film. Under 19 CFR 134.35, only the containers that reach the ultimate purchaser are required to be marked with the country of origin. Therefore, the film may be excepted from both individual marking and marking at intervals provided the rolls or shipping cases in which the film is imported are marked to indicate the country of origin of the film, and the CBP officers at the port of entry are satisfied that the film rolls or shipping cases will reach the ultimate purchaser unopened.

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 Joan Mazzola at 646-733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

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