MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 733729 NL

Mr. Hank Dorrity, Managing Director
Asean Pacific Packers Pte. Ltd.
Tanglin P.O. Box 12
Singapore 9124

RE: Country of Origin Marking for Flavored Teas; Clearly Indicate Country of Origin; "Grown In"; Words of Similar Meaning to "Product Of"; 19 CFR 134.46

Dear Mr. Dorrity:

This is in response to your letter of August 15, 1990, requesting a ruling concerning the country of origin marking for a gift package of tea grown and flavored in Sri Lanka but packaged in Singapore.


The article in question is a gift package consisting of five 0.88 ounce tins of flavored tea. Each tin is labeled with its flavor (mango, guava, banana, passion fruit, or pineapple), and on the back bears the legend "Specially Packed by Asean Pacific Packers in Singapore from teas grown and flavoured in Sri Lanka." We take this statement to represent the facts concerning the origin of the tinned teas. The package for the five tins bears the legend "Specially packed by Asean Pacific Singapore...from teas grown in Sri Lanka/ Product of Singapore" Your letter indicates that all the packaging materials (tins, window boxes, and corrugated trays) are made in Singapore.

Approval is sought for the markings of country of origin on the tins and gift package.


What is the required country of origin marking for the packaged flavored teas?


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 -2-

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.

As defined in 19 CFR 134.1(b), an imported article's country of origin for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1304 is the country of manufacture, production, or growth. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the country of origin. id. A substantial transformation is said to have occurred when, as a result of processing, an article emerges having a different name, character, or use.

In this case, Sri Lanka, where the teas were grown and processed by the addition of flavorings, is the country of origin. The packaging in Singapore is not deemed to be a substantial transformation, as it results in no change in the name, character, or use of the imported teas.

Consequently, the indication on each individual tin that the teas are "packed in Singapore...from teas grown and flavoured in Sri Lanka" is an acceptable marking of origin. However, the marking on the gift package, "From teas grown in Sri Lanka/Product of Singapore" does not comply with the country of origin marking requirements. Even though "grown in" is an acceptable indication of origin (referring to Sri Lanka), the term "product of" (referring to packing in Singapore) is reserved under 19 CFR Part 134 for designations of origin, and as stated above, the country of origin of the teas is Sri Lanka. Thus, this marking fails to clearly indicate the tea's country of origin to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. as required under 19 U.S.C. 1304. To comply with the marking requirements the word "product of" must be removed in reference to Singapore. Moreover, if the name "Singapore" remains on the article, the words "Made in" or "Product of" or words of similar meaning must appear in reference to the name Sri Lanka to clearly indicate the country of origin of the teas. See 19 CFR 134.46. Here, it is our opinion that the words "grown in" constitute words of similar meaning.

In the alternative, if the importer wishes to indicate that the tins and gift packaging (but not the teas) are products of Singapore, it would be acceptable to state, "packaging product of Singapore", or words to similar effect. It is noted, however, that the tins and packaging materials, unlike the tea, is not required to be marked, as it is disposable packaging within the meaning of 19 CFR Part 134.



The country of origin of the teas is Sri Lanka, and the packaging must so indicate. The designation "Product of Singapore" is unacceptable, in that it designates inaccurately the country of origin of the teas. It would be acceptable to identify the tins and packaging as products of Singapore, provided such designation is clearly separate from the indication that the teas originate in Sri Lanka.


Marvin M. Amernick, Chief
Value, Special Programs
and Admissiblility Branch