MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 732851 KG
Ralph H. Sheppard
Adduci, Mastriani, Meeks & Schill
551 Fifth Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10176
RE: Country of origin marking of imported screwdriver bits and
sockets to be re-exported to Europe for retail sale
Dear Mr. Sheppard:
This is in response to your letter of October 26, 1989,
requesting a country of origin ruling regarding imported
screwdriver bits and sockets to be re-exported to Europe for
retail sale. We regret the delay in responding to your inquiry.
Your client plans to import screwdriver bits and sockets
from Taiwan which are made specifically to European
specifications. The screwdriver bits and sockets will be
packaged together in the U.S. with battery-operated hand tools
and exported to Europe for retail sale.
The screwdriver bits and sockets will be imported in bulk
containers clearly marked with Taiwan as the country of origin.
The U.S. company purchasing the imported parts will receive an
invoice containing the following language:
These goods are intended for re-export after
packaging operations in the United States.
These items are made to European specifications.
The packages containing the imported parts combined with the
U.S. made battery-operated hand tools will not be marked with the
country of origin of the screwdriver bits and components.
Whether imported screwdriver bits and sockets, imported in a
marked container, and then repackaged with U.S. made battery-
operated hand tools and exported to Europe for retail sale are
required to be individually marked with their country of origin.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C.
1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign
origin imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous
place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the
article (or 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. The Court of
International Trade stated in Koru North America v. United
States, 701 F.Supp. 229, 12 CIT (CIT 1988), that: "In
ascertaining what constitutes the country of origin under the
marking statute, a court must look at the sense in which the term
is used in the statute, giving reference to the purpose of the
particular legislation involved. The purpose of the marking
statute is outlined in United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27
CCPA 297, 302 C.A.D. 104 (1940), where the court stated that:
"Congress intended that the ultimate purchaser should be able to
know by an inspection of the marking on the imported goods the
country of which the goods is the product. The evident purpose
is to mark the goods so that at the time of purchase the ultimate
purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able
to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence
Section 304(a)(3)(D) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended
(19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D)), excepts from individual marking
requirements any article for which the marking of the container
will reasonably indicate the 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 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(d)),
reiterates the exception contained in 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D).
The exception set forth in 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D) applies
in cases where the article is imported in a properly marked
container and Customs officials at the port of entry are
satisfied that the ultimate purchaser will receive it in its
original unopened marked container. See HQ 731768 (December 8,
1988). The ultimate purchaser is defined in section 134.1(d),
Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(d)), as the last person in the
U.S. to receive the article in the form in which it was
Given the factual setting presented, the U.S. manufacturer
who repackages the screwdriver bits and sockets for export is the
last person in the U.S. who will receive the imported article.
Assuming that no one else in the U.S. will receive either the
imported screwdriver bits and sockets or the repackaged
screwdriver kits fit to European specifications, the U.S.
manufacturer would be the ultimate purchaser. In that instance,
clearly marking the original unopened container in which the
imported screwdriver bits and sockets will be received by the
U.S. manufacturer would allow the ultimate purchaser to make an
informed buying choice and would satisfy the country of origin
marking requirements. Therefore, if the importer will certify to
Customs that all the imported screwdriver bits and sockets will
be exported, marking the country of origin on the container in
which the U.S. manufacturer will receive the imported screwdriver
bits and sockets will satisfy the country of origin marking
requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304.
If the importer will certify to Customs that all the
imported screwdriver bits and sockets will be exported, marking
the country of origin on the original unopened container in which
the U.S. manufacturer will receive the imported screwdriver bits
and sockets will satisfy the country of origin marking
requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304.
Marvin M. Amernick
Chief, Value, Special Programs
and Admissibility Branch