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Country of origin marking requirements

What are the country of origin marking requirements in the United States? In a report, the WTO states the following.

Most products imported into the United States must bear a marking that indicates to the final consumer where the product was manufactured.

The U.S. rules governing country of origin marking are distinct and independent from the determination of origin for customs purposes and, therefore, it is possible for an article to have a different country of origin for marking purposes.

Section 304(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, provides that goods must bear a permanent, legible marking in a conspicuous place so as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article.

The related regulations indicate the products subject to marking, the methods and manner of marking, and marking requirements for special articles such as containers, receptacles or repackaged articles.

It also states that the country of origin for marking purposes is the country of manufacture, production or cultivation of any product of foreign origin entering the United States and that any other activity or material added to a product in another country must result in a substantial transformation for that other country to be the “country of origin”.

No major changes were made to the U.S. marking rules in the last three years. An Executive Order was issued affecting, among other things, the country of origin marking of products from Hong Kong, China.

Marking

Goods produced in Hong Kong, China that entered (or were removed from a warehouse) for consumption in the United States after November 9, 2020 were required to be marked as “China” for the purposes of country of origin marking.

The Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (USMCA) does not contain marking rules.

However, preliminary provisions relating to marking rules, tariff rate quotas and other provisions of the USMCA, published in the Federal Register on July 6, 2021, amended section 102.0 of title 19 of the C.F.R. so that the rules set forth in sections 102.1 through 102.18 and 102.20 would continue to determine the country of origin for marking purposes with respect to goods imported from Canada and Mexico.

The rules in 102.21 already governed country of origin marking for textile and apparel products. This preliminary final rule became effective July 1, 2021, and the relevant changes were already reflected in the U.S. regulatory provisions on marking at 19 C.F.R. 134 and 19 C.F.R.

 

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