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HQ 082574

December 28, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082574 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 6307; 5806.31.0000; 5804.30.0020

Ms. Shirley A. Waltos
Karl Schroff & Associates, Inc.
Route 6, Box 384 - 17
Springfield, Missouri 65803

RE: Hand-Woven Fabric from Guatemala

Dear Ms. Waltos:

This is in reply to your letter dated July 6, 1988, to our New York office, in which you requested a ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) concerning the classification of hand-woven fabric imported from Guatemala. You also enquired as to the country of origin marking requirements for the fabrics. Three samples of the fabric were submitted with your request.


The first article is a 100 percent cotton hand-woven fabric, and is made of basket weave construction with fast edges. It measures three-quarters of an inch in width and will be imported in continuous lengths.

The second item is a 100 percent cotton hand-woven fabric patch measuring 6 inches by four inches and has fast edges on two sides. Both the patch and the woven narrow fabric will be sewn in the United States to shirts or shorts made by a U.S. manufacturer.

The third sample is a macrame string article made from hand- crafted 100 percent cotton yarn. The macrame strings are designed to be used with hang tags which will be attached to the U.S.-made garments.


Whether the articles in question are classifiable under headings 5806 and 5804, HTSUSA, or whether the second and third articles should be classified under heading 6307, HTSUSA? Secondly, whether the articles in question will be substantially transformed in the United States such that they are exempt from country of origin marking requirements?


Articles are classified under the HTSUSA in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of articles is to be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided the headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the remaining GRIs taken in order.

Heading 5806, HTSUSA, covers narrow woven fabrics, other than goods of heading 5807. Note 5 to chapter 58 states in pertinent part that

For the purposes of heading 5806, the expression "narrow woven fabrics" means:

(a) Woven fabrics of a width not exceeding 30 cm, whether woven as such or cut from wider pieces, provided with selvages...on both edges.

The first sample is 3/4 of an inch, or approximately 1.9 centimeters (cm) wide and has selvages on both edges and is therefore a narrow woven fabric for the purposes of heading 5806, HTSUSA.

Customs is also of the opinion that the second item, the hand-woven fabric patch, is a narrow woven fabric within the meaning of heading 5806, HTSUSA. It too, measures under 30 cm in width and has selvages on both edges. Moreover, we do not consider the patch to be an article of heading 6307, HTSUSA. The Explanatory Notes, which constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, state in regard to heading 6307, that the
heading covers made up textile articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically in other headings of Section XI or elsewhere in the Nomenclature.

However, the patch meets the definition of a narrow woven fabric of heading 5806. Thus it is specifically described in Section XI and consequently, excluded from heading 6307, HTSUSA.

Heading 5804, HTSUSA, covers tulles and other net fabrics... lace in the piece, in strips or in motifs. The Explanatory Note to heading 5804 describes lace as an ornamental or decorative openwork fabric. Specifically, Note (II)(D)(4) to heading 5804 defines macrame lace as:
a heavy lace made by knotting in various ways a series of threads fixed at right angles to a leading thread.

Textiles: Fiber to Fabric, (5th ed., 1979), at 168-69, refers to macrame as one of the "lesser-known" laces and states that it "differs from other laces in texture and appearance."

The article in question is an openwork fabric, that is, there are numerous small openings in the material. Furthermore, it is designed as an ornamental means of attaching paper tags to finished garments. Finally, it is made by knotting together a series of threads as described above. Consequently, it is Customs position that the macrame string is a lace fabric of heading 5804, HTSUSA.

You also enquired as to the country of origin marking requirements for the three articles in question. Section 304(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304(a)), requires that articles of foreign origin imported into the United States be marked in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the United States the country of origin of the imported merchandise. Nevertheless, there is an exception to this requirement for articles used in manufacture and which result in the articles having a name, character, or use differing from that of the imported articles (U.S. v. Gibson- Thomsen Company, Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267, C.A.D. 98 (1940)). In such a case, the U.S. manufacturer who converts the imported merchandise into the different article will be considered the ultimate purchaser and the article will be exempt from marking. See section 134.35, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.35).

Here, the imported narrow woven fabrics are sewn to shirts and shorts made in the United States, or in the case of the macrame, attached to paper tags which are themselves attached by means of the macrame to the finished garments. As a result, the articles lose their former character and are incorporated into the shirts and shorts as decorative trim. Thus the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser and the fabrics and macrame are exempt from marking. Nevertheless, the outermost containers of the imported articles remain subject to the marking requirements of 19 CFR 134.35.

However, we note that the tag attached to the sample macrame bears a U.S. address. Section 134.36(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.36(b)), provides that exceptions from marking shall not apply to articles bearing misleading markings, i.e., words, letters, names, or symbols which imply that the articles were made or produced in a country other than the actual country of origin. A U.S. address such as appears on the sample tag is misleading within the meaning of section 134.36, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.36) as it implies the possibility that the macrame was made in the United States rather than Guatemala. Consequently, if the tags actually used with the macrame were to bear a U.S. address, we would require that the tags also indicate the macrame's country of origin, i.e., that the macrame was made in or a product of Guatemala pursuant to 19 CFR 134.46.


The first and second items, the narrow woven fabrics are classified under subheading 5806.31.0000, under the provision for narrow woven fabrics...; other woven fabrics; of cotton. They are subject to duty at a rate of 10 percent ad valorem; the textile category is 229.

The third item, the macrame lace string, is classified under subheading 5804.30.0020, under the provision for tulles and other net fabrics...; lace in the piece, in strips or in motifs; hand- made lace; of cotton. The macrame is dutiable at a rate of 15 percent ad valorem; the textile category is 229. Under General U.S. Note 3(c)(v)(D), HTSUSA, exports (of subheading 5804.30.00) of handloom fabrics of the cottage industry or traditional folklore handicraft textile products from Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) beneficiary countries may be eligible for duty-free treatment if such products are properly certified. Guatemala is a designated CBERA beneficiary country.

The cotton hand-woven fabrics themselves are exempt from marking, except for the outermost containers in which the articles are imported which remain subject to the marking requirements of 19 CFR 134.35. The macrame string is also exempt from marking, unless the string tags to which the macrame will be attached bear a U.S. address, in which case the tags should indicate the macrame's country of origin.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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