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NY N020355

December 4, 2007

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


Mr. Joseph R. Hoffacker
Barthco Trade Consultants
The Navy Yard
5101 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19112-1404


Dear Mr. Hoffacker:

This is in response to your letter dated November 28, 2007, on behalf of Arc International North America, requesting a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements for ceramic dinnerware. Marked samples were submitted with your letter for review.

The submitted samples are four ceramic plates which are each marked with a backstamp showing the brand name, style, and country of origin fired into the center of the item, along with an adhesive sticker also containing the same information. In each case, the adhesive sticker measures approximately 1¼” square, on which the information appears in black letters against a white background. The labels are affixed in close proximity to the backstamp of the dinnerware. You have inquired as to whether the country of origin marking requirements would be satisfied by the country of origin appearing solely on the adhesive label. The backstamp with the brand name and style would remain fired into the center of the item, but only the adhesive label would contain the country of origin. You indicate that the goods can originate in China, Portugal, Thailand, or Indonesia.

Your samples are being returned as requested.

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. If paper stickers or pressure sensitive labels are used, they must be affixed in a conspicuous place and so securely that unless deliberately removed they will remain on the article while it is in storage or on display and until it is delivered to the ultimate purchaser. (19 CFR 134.44(b)).

The adhesive labels used on the samples are in full compliance with section 134.44(b). The labels are conspicuous and they are securely affixed.

The proposed marking of imported ceramic dinnerware, as described above, is conspicuously, legibly and permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is an acceptable country of origin marking.

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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