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NY N018974

November 21, 2007

MAR-2 :OT:RR:NC:TA:N3 356


Mr. Michael J. Hall
CSI International, Inc.
70 Jansen Avenue, Suite 206
Essington, PA 19029


Dear Mr. Hall:

This is in response to a letter, submitted on behalf of Miskeen Originals, that was received by this office on October 26, 2007. The letter requests a ruling concerning the location of the origin label and whether the use of certain proposed wording constitutes acceptable marking for imported men’s knit garments. A sample garment was submitted and will be returned, as requested.

The garment is a men’s pullover constructed from 100% cotton, finely knit fabric that measures 27 stitches per two centimeters counted in the horizontal direction. The sample has a rib knit crew neckline; long, loose fitting sleeves with rib knit cuffs; a screen print on the back panel; extensive artwork and decoration on the front panel; and a straight, hemmed bottom.

You state that you plan to purchase plain, undecorated pullovers from China, place them in a foreign trade zone in the United States, hand paint and decorate them in the foreign trade zone, and enter some or all of the decorated garments into the United States. You ask whether it is acceptable to put a label in the neck that states “Handcrafted in the U.S.” and a second label in the inner side seam that states “Made in China.”

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 United States 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. Section 134.1(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(d)) defines the “ultimate purchaser” generally as the last person in the United States who will receive the article in the form in which it is imported. As the imported hand painted garments are intended for retail sale, the retail customer is considered the ultimate purchaser for the purpose of country of origin marking.

The country of origin label that you propose to sew into the lower side seam is not easily and readily visible to the ultimate purchaser. Therefore, the country of origin label located in the lower side seam of the imported garment is not conspicuous and does not constitute an acceptable country of origin marking in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134. In T.D. 54640(6), Customs determined that country of origin marking appearing on the inside center of the neck of a shirt, mid-way between the shoulder seams or in that immediate area, is conspicuous within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

With regard to the proposed neck label stating “Handcrafted in the U.S.”, the use of this label on the garment is unacceptable as the words “Handcrafted in” are similar in meaning to “Made in” and imply that the item was made by hand in the United States.

To satisfy the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134, the garment must be marked “Made in China” by means of a sewn-in label located on the inside center of the neck, mid-way between the shoulder seams or in that immediate area.

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 Mary Ryan at 646-733-3271.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity

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