What is the "Country of Origin?"
Generally, the country of origin refers to the country where the product was grown, produced, or manufactured. This is easily applied when the product is produced in one country using domestic materials. For example, a bicycle that is manufactured in India using components all made in India has the country of origin "Made in India."
However, today it is unrealistic to think that all materials, components, and labor all stem from the same country. Using the bicycle example, the wheels may be from USA, the bicycle frame from India, but the labor was done in China. In this example, it is not always clear as to where the country of origin is. In these situations the law created the concept of substantial transformation - it is a degree of processing requiring to change the country of origin (more on substantial transformation to be discussed next post).
An incorrect determination as to an imported product may lead to incorrect marking, incorrect duty, and incorrect documentation upon attempted entry. The consequences for these errors can be delays, additional costs, or seizures.
Happy Importing and Happy Holidays :)