MAR-2-05 CO:R:C:V 734648 RC
Mr. Gerard J. Roerty, Jr.
Mays & Valentine
1111 East Main Street
P.O. Box 1122
Richmond, Virginia 23208-1122
RE: Country of Origin Marking of Appliances. 19 CFR 134.32(d);
Article Exempt; Conspicuous; Container Marking.
Dear Mr. Roerty:
This letter is in response to your inquiry of May 18, 1992,
requesting a ruling as to whether Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex
Inc.'s proposed appliance packaging complies with the United States
Customs marking statute.
Your client, Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc., imports
various small appliances. The majority of the components, 80-95%,
are made in the United States. They are assembled in Mexico. Then
the packaged appliances are exported to the United States for
You have submitted a sample packaging label to be ruled upon.
An actual box was not submitted. The appliance is a "Proctor-
Silex Full Size Adjustable Steam Iron." The markings are printed
onto the labels and permanently attached to the boxes in Mexico
prior to importation. For purposes of this ruling, we assume that
Mexico is the country of origin.
The submitted sample reveals the marking "Made in Mexico" in
two locations. One such place is on the square-shaped right end
of the box. The marking appears with additional information
including a small photograph of an iron, portions of printed text
and a close-up photo of detailing. Near the lower portion of the
box end, the words, "Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc. *
Washington, NC * Made in Mexico," appear in approximately 9-point
type. (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
The other "Made in Mexico" marking is located on a
rectangular-shaped side of the box. It appears along with printed
text concerning warranty, patent, and technical information. In
addition, there are a code bar and a recycling symbol. The design
format of the information is divided into two columns. Near the
middle of the first column, the words, "Hamilton Beach/Proctor-
Silex, Inc. Washington, NC 27889" appear in approximately 9-point
type. Then, proceeding to look diagonally down one inch to the
right the words "Made in Mexico"
appear in approximately the same size type as the United States
address on said side. You state that the marking does not appear
on the bottom of the box.
1) Whether the marking is sufficiently conspicuous.
2) Whether marking the container instead of the article itself
3) Whether the requirements in section 134.46, Customs
Regulations, are satisfied.
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 will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the
ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the
country of origin. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR part 134)
implements the regulations of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.41(b)
states that a marking should be at least sufficiently permanent to
insure that in any reasonably foreseeable circumstance the marking
shall remain on the article or its container until it reaches the
ultimate purchaser . . . The ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must
be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.
A conspicuous marking has various characteristics, two of
which are (1) visibility, that is, it must be readily apparent,
and (2) legibility, that is, it must be readable without strain.
Another quality of a conspicuous marking is format, that is, the
ultimate purchaser must be able to readily ascertain where the
goods were produced.
You advise us that the rectangular-shaped side of the box
where one of the markings appears is not the bottom of the
container. However, the rectangular side, with the large picture
of the iron, appears adjacent thereto. Usually, when a boxed
article is shelved for retail sale, the box side with the largest
picture of the product faces the ultimate purchaser. Applying this
norm to the submitted sample, it is clear that the rectangular
side where the marking appears is indeed the bottom.
Generally, Customs does not consider marking the bottom of an
article as being sufficiently conspicuous, especially as here where
no information about the product appears on the bottom. Merely
marking the bottom in the instant case would be insufficient.
However, since the end of the box is also marked "Made in Mexico,"
the ultimate purchaser can readily ascertain the country of origin.
Regarding the submitted sample, one notes that the "Made in
Mexico" markings are permanent, legible, and indelible.
Therefore, the requirements of section 134.41 are satisfied.
The Article Marking Exception
According to section 134.32(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR
134.32(d)), an article is excepted from marking if the marking of
the article's container will reasonably indicate the origin of such
article. Additionally, Customs must be satisfied that in all
reasonably foreseeable circumstances the article will reach the
ultimate purchaser in said properly marked box.
Here, the marking is printed on the box. Said marking appears
to reasonably indicate the country of origin. As discussed above,
it is conspicuous, legible, and permanent. Another concern is
whether the appliance will reach the ultimate purchaser in said
properly marked box. If so, then, it would be proper to mark the
container in lieu of the article itself.
It is reasonable to assume that the iron will remain in the
box because the label gives all the product information. The
pictures on the box clearly show that the container was designed
for retail sale.
Section 134.46: Use of U.S. Address and Foreign Marking
Your decision to include U.S. addresses on the boxes invokes
the provisions of section 134.46. Under section 134.46, any case
in which the words "U.S." or "American," or the letters "U.S.A.,"
any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or
locality in the U.S., or the name of any foreign country or
locality other than the country or locality in which the article
was manufactured or produced, appear on an imported article or its
container, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close
proximity to such words, letters or name, and in at least a
comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by
"Made in," "Product of," or other words of similar meaning.
Applying the requirements of section 134.46, the foreign
marking and the U.S. address are printed clearly, in equivalent
dimension on the box. The permanence requirement is satisfied by
printing the markings directly on the box.
Regarding the close proximity requirement, if one looks on
the right square end of the package (using the large photo of the
iron as the shelf "front"), the U.S. address and the "Made in
Mexico" markings are adjacent, thus the close proximity is
On the bottom side of the package, the foreign marking and
the U.S. address are not adjacent. However, both the foreign
marking and the U.S. address can be seen in plain view on the same
side of the box. There is no need for the ultimate purchaser to
strain or to turn the box to see both the foreign marking and the
U.S. address at the same time.
Regarding the submitted sample, the printed foreign marking
and the domestic address are in close proximity and in comparable
size. In addition, they are legible and permanent Therefore all
the requirements of section 134.46 are satisfied.
The words "Made in Mexico" are sufficiently conspicuous as to
give the ultimate purchaser notice of the country of origin. In
the circumstances described above, marking the retail box instead
of the appliance itself is sufficient. The regulations governing
the use of a U.S. address along with a foreign marking are
satisfied. This ruling is limited to appliances in which the
packaging complies with the packaging submitted.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division