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NY N022220

January 28, 2008

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


Mr. Dorian Llanas
Coppersmith Inc.
525 S. Douglas Street
El Segundo, CA 90245


Dear Mr. Llanas:

This is in response to your letter dated January 15, 2008 requesting a ruling on whether the proposed method of marking the container in which ceramic bisque giftware is imported with the country of origin, in lieu of marking the article itself, is an acceptable country of origin marking for the imported ceramic bisque giftware. A marked sample container was not submitted with your letter for review.

The articles in question are ceramic bisque giftware items, made in China. As imported, the items are fired once and unglazed. After importation, the intent is for a buyer to select a piece, apply paint, and then glaze and re-fire it to produce a finished ceramic giftware item. The ceramic bisque giftware items are not individually marked with the country of origin; however, the cartons they are packaged in do bear this marking. You have submitted two samples with your request. Both are triangular-shaped “trays” with sides measuring approximately 10” x 11” x 11”. One is unfinished ceramic bisque, in the item’s imported condition. The other is painted and glazed, and represents the final product after purchase and personalization. In a telephone conversation with this office, you indicated that the cartons that the ceramic bisque items are packaged in are not individual retail cartons, but that multiple ceramic bisque items are packed in master cartons that are marked with the country of origin.

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. 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 ceramic bisque giftware is the consumer who purchases the product at retail.

An article is excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. Accordingly, if Customs is satisfied that the article will remain in its container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser and if the ultimate purchaser can tell the country of origin of the ceramic bisque giftware by viewing the container in which it is packaged, the individual ceramic bisque giftware items would be excepted from marking under this provision.

Since the ceramic bisque giftware items are not imported in individual containers that are marked with the country of origin, but rather, they are imported in master cartons that are marked, the identity of the country of origin will not be known to the ultimate purchaser. Marking only the master carton in which the ceramic bisque items are imported with the country of origin is not acceptable, since such carton will not reach the ultimate purchaser. Accordingly, the ceramic bisque giftware items are not excepted from marking under 19 U.S.C. 1304 (a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d) and each individual item must be marked to indicate the country of origin.

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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