Abady Law Firm, P.C. – Customs and Import/Export Attorney Blog

Learn the Basics of Customs and International Trade Policy and Procedure

Archive for January, 2012

Customs Attorney: Marking Continued

As discussed in the last marking post the requirements for marking must be:

1. in a conspicuous place
2. legible
3. permanent
4. English name as to the country of origin

Let us explain these even further shall we.

Legible and Conspicuous
The person who ends up with the product the “Ultimate Purchaser,” must be able to find the marking easily without straining him or her self. Some uses I have seen include, tags and stickers depending on the type of good.

What size font should I use? Depends on the type of product. For example, CBP found that lettering which was 1.7mm was the smallest font acceptable as a country of origin marking on a pen barrel according to HQ ruling 733940.

Ultimate Purchaser
Who is the ultimate purchaser?…that depends:
Article imported for retail – the end consumer will be the ultimate purchaser
Article imported as gift – the recipient will be the ultimate purchaser
Article imported for manufacturing – the manufacturer will be the ultimate purchaser if the article is going to be substantially transformed.

Permanence
The marking should be as permanent as the article permits it to be. It should should be sufficiently permanent so as to handle shipping and distribution until it finally reaches the ultimate purchaser.

English Name
Only the English name of the country of origin may be used unless Customs approves otherwise. Common forms for marking include “Made in…” “Product of…”

Customs Attorney: Marking

Generally, every imported or exported good is subject to marking regulations from at least one of the federal agencies. Marking requirements are enforced by physical inspection of the goods and also after release of the goods via a notice of redelivery and marking (CF4647). If Customs finds that marking is incorrect, they will delay the release of the goods until the marking is corrected.

Incorrect markings can result in delays and high expenses for remarking goods or may result in a liquidated damages claim against the importer for failing to redeliver the goods (example: when the goods were sold and shipped to buyers). Further, marking which is fraudulent may result in seizure and/or penalties.

Marking laws are not only U.S. Customs based. Customs enforces marking requirements for other agencies as well. For example the Federal Trade Commission requires clothing to have certain labels and information relating to fiber content, dry cleaning information, etc.

U.S. Customs marking requirements are as follows, the marking must be:

in a conspicuous place
legible
permanent
have English name of the country of origin.