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Every article of foreign origin entering the United States must be legibly marked with the English name of the country of origin unless an exception from marking is provided for in the law

The origin plays a vital role in admissibility, duty rate, qualification for special trade programs, and, very importantly, anti-dumping and countervailing duties.


Importers need to be cautious about the marking of goods because it may result in importation delays, added expense, liquidated damages, seizure of goods, or penalties.

What is the Purpose of Markings?

The purpose of Countty of Origin Markgins is to inform the ultimate purchaser in the United States of the country in which the imported article was made.

How is Country of Origin Determined?

The country in which a foreign good was grown, produced, or manufactured generally determines the Country of Origin.

Can the Country of Origin be Changed?

The country of origin of an article may be changed in a secondary country if one of the following occurs:

  • Substantial transformation - A substantial transformation occurs if a new article with a different name, character, and use is created - further work or material added to an article.
  • For a good from a NAFTA country: if under the NAFTA Marking Rules (19 CFR Part 102) the second country is determined to be the country of origin of the good; or
  • For an article considered to be a textile or apparel product applying the general rules set forth in 19 CFR Part 102.21 to be the second country.

Where do Country of Origins Markings Go?

The marking should be located in a conspicuous place. It need not be in the most conspicuous place, but it must be where it can be seen with a casual handling of the article.