Ms. Kayla Jayne Corona
Morbid Curiosity Cosmetics, LLC
44 Roe Ave
Cornwall on Hudson, NY 12520
RE: The country of origin marking of cosmetic packaging from China
Dear Ms. Corona:
In your letter, dated January 6, 2021, you requested a country of origin marking ruling. Photos and product information were submitted for our review.
The products under consideration are four cosmetic packaging items. These include a printed paperboard box for a tube of lip gloss, a plastic eyeshadow "pod" or container, a plastic lip gloss tube with incorporated applicator, and a paperboard eyeshadow palette. Each of the items is imported without the cosmetic formulations. You indicate that the cosmetics themselves are manufactured in the United States, and that the packaging will be filled after importation.
In your letter, you request advice on the country of origin marking requirements for the cosmetic packaging items.
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 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. Pursuant to 19 CFR Section 134.1(b), the country of origin is the country of manufacture, production or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S. Section 134.1(d) defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported.
However, where the imported articles constitute containers, 19 CFR Part 134 Subpart C is applicable. The country of origin marking requirements applicable to containers imported in an empty state depend, in part, on whether the containers are reusable or disposable in nature. Disposable containers imported by persons or firms who fill them with various products which they sell may be excepted from individual marking pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(D). However, this exception is not applicable if the imported containers are reusable. Thus, the cosmetic packaging items may be excepted from individual marking only if they are disposable containers, of the type ordinarily discarded after the contents have been consumed. Under 19 CFR 134.23, containers are considered reusable if they are either designed for or capable of reuse after the contents have been consumed, or if they impart the essential character to the whole importation. Such containers, whether imported full or empty, must be individually marked to indicate the country of their own origin with a marking such as, "Container Made in (name of country)."
In order to determine whether the cosmetic packaging items are excepted from country of origin marking requirements, it is first necessary to establish whether they are disposable or reusable containers, as well as to ascertain the identity of the ultimate purchaser within the meaning of 19 U.S.C.1304. Because the paperboard box, lip gloss tube, eye shadow pod container, and paperboard eyeshadow palette are limited to a single use, cannot be refilled, and would be disposed of after the cosmetic is consumed, we find that they are disposable. The ultimate purchaser, therefore, is the manufacturer that fills the container with the cosmetic products. Therefore, only the outermost container in which the cosmetic packaging items reach the ultimate purchaser is required to be marked to indicate the origin of its contents.
The paperboard box, eyeshadow pod container, lip gloss tube, and paperboard eyeshadow palette do not have to be individually marked with the country of origin, China. You do indicate, however, that the cosmetic products that will fill the containers are manufactured in the United States. You do not state whether the packaging items are marked "Made in USA". The four items are ordinary packaging that will lose their identity as separate articles of commerce when they are filled with the cosmetics. Therefore, should the packaging items, at time of importation, be marked with the words "Made in USA" in reference to the cosmetic contents, such printing would not be considered misleading or deceptive, provided that the Customs officers at the port of entry are satisfied that the cosmetics are made in the United States.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Laurel Duvall at email@example.com.
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division