MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 732228 NL
Susan Pomerantz, President
Priority One Brokers, Inc.
4101 Airtrade Street
Orlando, Florida 32827
RE: Country of Origin Marking of Sunglasses
Dear Ms. Pomerantz:
This is in response to your letter of March 14, 1989,
requesting advice concerning the country of origin marking of
imported sunglasses and a clear polybag in which they are
imported. We regret the delay in responding.
The submitted sample is a clear plastic bag, approximately
9" by 3", upon which is printed the words "Made in Taiwan". You
advised a member of my staff that the sunglasses, which are of an
inexpensive, nonprescription type, are individually packed in
Taiwan in the unsealed plastic bags for sale to ultimate
purchasers in the U.S. The sunglasses are imported in
containers holding 24 pairs each. The sunglasses themselves,
which were not submitted as a sample, contain no country of
Does the above-described marking satisfy the country of
origin marking requirements?
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 United States 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. Part 134,
Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of
origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304.
An article may be excepted from country of origin marking
pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D) and 19 CFR 134.32(d) when the
marking of its container will reasonably indicate the origin of
the article to the ultimate purchaser. However, in granting
this exception we require assurances that in all foreseeable
circumstances, the article will reach the ultimate purchaser in
its original unopened marked container. See T.D. 74-122; HQ
Ruling 729075 (Jan. 13, 1986). Here, where the unsealed package
affords the opportunity for a retailer or wholesaler easily to
remove the articles and offer them for sale without country of
origin marking, an exception from country of origin marking
cannot be approved. We note, however, that the country of origin
marking on the plastic bags is legible, permanent and conspicuous
within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1304. We cannot issue a binding
ruling without reviewing a sample, but it is possible that an
exception could be approved if the bag were sealed such that in
all foreseeable circumstances the ultimate purchaser would
receive the article in the marked, sealed plastic bag.
In this instance the articles themselves must be marked with
their country of origin. As you are aware, in T.D. 74-38 we
ruled that imported eyeglass and sunglass frames must be marked
by die stamping in a contrasting color, by raised lettering, or
by engraving. Please note, however, complete sunglasses may also
be marked by means of labels or tags which are attached to the
sunglasses securely enough to remain on until the sunglasses
reach the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. See C.I.E. 1884/65
(Nov. 9, 1965), letter rulings 710832 (Sept. 12, 1979), 720967
(Dec. 13, 1982), and 726183 (Aug. 29, 1984).
Imported sunglasses packed in unsealed individual plastic
containers bearing country of origin marking must themselves be
marked with their country of origin.
Marvin M. Amernick
Chief, Value, Special Programs
and Admissibility Branch