MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 735009 RC
Mr. Hadley Robichaud, President
Old Hampshire House
R.R. #2, Brookside Road
Truro, Nova Scotia
Canada B2N 5B1
RE: Country of Origin Marking of Survival Kits; T.D. 91-7.
Dear Mr. Robichaud:
This is in response to your letter of February 22, 1993,
requesting a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements
for survival kits to be imported into the U.S. You submitted a
sample kit packaged for retail sale.
Each pocket-sized kit contains approximately 40 items made
in Canada (food, medical and survival supplies); one compass,
made in Hong Kong; and one whistle, made in the U.S. The compass
comprises approximately 13.7 percent of the total kit cost. The
whistle comprises approximately 2.9 percent of the total kit
cost. The kit is packaged in a can, then blister packed. We
note that the sample kit contains articles marked with countries
of origin different from those indicated in your ruling request.
We assume the articles, if individually marked, will be marked to
accurately indicate their origin as stated in your letter.
What is the proper country of origin marking for the survival
kits according to 19 CFR Part 134?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
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 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 134.1(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 was imported. The marking must
be conspicuous to the ultimate purchaser. Here, the ultimate
purchaser is the person who buys the survival kit at retail. The
"country of origin" for marking purposes is defined by section
134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)), to mean the
country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of
foreign origin entering the U.S.
When articles manufactured in different countries are
combined or assembled, Customs must determine the country of
origin, for marking purposes. The country of origin is the
country where the article last underwent a "substantial
transformation", that is, processing which results in a change in
the article's name, character, or use. Section 134.35, Customs
Regulations (19 CFR 134.35).
Here, the combining of the survival kit items into sets does
not constitutes a substantial transformation because the
resulting product is not a new article in which the constituents
lose their separate identities. Each item in the kit remains
clearly identifiable. Therefore, under section 304 of the Tariff
Act, the kits must be marked to indicate to the ultimate
purchaser in the U.S. the foreign origin of the items contained
The required marking is addressed in T.D. 91-7, which
provides that materials of foreign origin which comprise sets,
mixtures, or composite goods must be marked to indicate the
country of origin unless substantially transformed. To the
extent such foreign materials are insignificant, or would have no
influence on the purchasing decision, Customs applies a "common
sense" approach to determine whether marking is required.
In HQ 734737 (December 17, 1992), Customs found that drawer
slides imported and sold as parts of furniture kits were subject
to marking because, in terms of value, the drawer slides
accounted for at least six percent and as much as twelve percent
of the cost of the finished furniture. In HQ 555365
(September 7, 1990), Customs found that imported screws when sold
with U.S.-made junction boxes were not subject to marking
because, in terms of value, the screws constituted an
insignificant part of the set, 2.3 percent of the total value.
Pursuant to the general marking requirements and T.D. 91-7,
the survival kits must be marked to indicate that the components
are of Canadian origin. We find the compass must also indicate
that it is of Hong Kong origin. In terms of both value and
function we do not consider the compass to be an insignificant
component. The whistle, which is of U.S. origin, is not subject
to the requirements of the marking statute since it is not of
If you decide to indicate that the whistle is of U.S.
origin, then the marking will need to comply with the
requirements of the Federal Trade Commission. We suggest that
you direct any questions on this aspect of the issue to the
Federal Trade Commission.
The survival kits must be marked to indicate that the
components are of Canadian origin. The marking must also
indicate that the compass is of Hong Kong origin. It is not
necessary to indicate that the whistle is of U.S. origin. The
header cards or the kit cans themselves may be marked "Components
Made in Canada, Compass Made in Hong Kong" in a conspicuous
location in at least five points. (A point is a unit of type
measurement equal to 0.01384 inch or nearly 1/72 inch, and all
type sizes are multiples of this unit.) In order to be
conspicuous, the marking must be visible to the ultimate
purchaser prior to purchase. Marking of the individual items
is not necessary. However, if marked, it must be accurate.
John Durant, Director