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What are the requirements for including a "Made in China" label on products not entirely made in China?

December 4, 2007
Question 

a. We make a candle in the US. The glass container comes from China. The wax, fragrance, oil, label, and wick are made in the U.S. Since the glass is the only component from China, is it permissible to pull the made in china sticker off the glass?

b. We manufacture a promotional piece with three components. One component of is supplied to us from China. Our product is then added to another printed piece that is manufactured in the U.S. This is a non-food product. Do we need print "Made in China" or any notification that a component was made in China?

 

 

Answer 

The marking statute, 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 the exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)), defines "country of origin" as the country of manufacture, production or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S.

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" within the meaning of the marking laws and regulations. Unless a substantial transformation occurs the countries of origin should remain on each component of the product and there are penalties for the improper removal of the country of origin marking. There are also regulations involving the permanency of a marking, which depend on the specific product. We recommend that you consult with an experienced attorney familiar with the specific facts and circumstances to determine whether a substantial transformation has occurred and to recommend marking language. Please let us know if we can be of help in this regard.