Imported castings are subject to specific country-of-origin markings in order to legally enter the United States. You should be aware of the Federal country-of-origin marking law and should know that you have the responsibility to play your part in complying with the law.
The U.S. country of origin markings statute, Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. § 1304, et seq., requires that every article of foreign origin entering into the United States must be legibly marked with the English name of the country of origin unless otherwise excepted under the law. 19 U.S.C. § 1304. The markings must be “in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit,” in a manner that indicates to the “ultimate purchaser” in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article. Id. The “ultimate purchaser” is defined by U.S. Customs’ regulations, 19 C.F.R. § 134.1(d), to be the last person in the United States who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported.
The Country of Origin Markings statute requires the country of origin markings be legible, indelible, and permanent. U.S. Customs’ regulations clarify this requirement, stating that the markings requirements are best met by markings “worked into the article” at the time of manufacture. 19 C.F.R. § 134.41. U.S. Customs’ regulations go on to provide that in the case of “metal articles,” the recommended method of marking is by die sinking, cast-in-mold lettering, or etching.
In view of CBP’s regulations, imported municipal castings should be conspicuously and permanently marked, both legibly and indelibly, on their outer surface, by die sinking, cast-in-mold lettering, etching, or other similarly permanent means suitable for metal castings, such that it will convey to the tax-paying public the English name of the country of origin of the lamp post. 19 C.F.R. § 134.41(a).
There is a special statutory marking law for manhole rings or frames, covers, and assemblies thereof. That provision states that these products must be “marked on the top surface with the English name of the country of origin by means of die stamping, cast-in-mold lettering, etching, engraving, or an equally permanent method of marking.” Congress created this special marking requirement for manhole rings or frames, covers, and assemblies thereof because the country-of-origin marking law was being evaded significantly by such practices as placing the country-of-origin marking on areas of the casting that would be embedded in concrete or otherwise obscured from view. A significant factor in Congress’ decision to mandate top-side marking was its recognition that members of the public are the purchasers and users of these items – and so the country-of-origin marking should be where the public can easily see it.
Thus, for manhole and inlet frames, this means that the country-of-origin marking must be in a place that will be visible once the product is installed in the field by the end user. The only location available on a manhole or inlet frame that will meet these criteria is the very top surface or lip of the frame and the only location available on a lid or grate is the top surface.
- Imported castings that do not comply with country-of-origin marking laws are subject to fines and additional duties. Customs can also require that the goods be returned to the agency for marking, exportation, or destruction.
- If the name of any city or other location in the United States appears on the product, and the use of that name would likely mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser, the name of the country of origin, preceded by “Made in,” or Product of,” or words of similar meaning, must also appear. This phrase must be legible and permanent, and be of comparable size to and be placed close to the name of the city or other U.S. location.