United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1990 HQ Rulings > HQ 0082704 - HQ 0082931 > HQ 0082747

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 082747

February 23, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082747 PR


TARIFF NO: (no tariff number used)

Miss Cecilia Khoo
Embassy of Singapore
1824 R Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009-1691

RE: The country of origin of jeans assembled in Singapore

Dear Miss Khoo:

This is in reply to your of August 30, 1988, on behalf of the Singapore Trade Development Board, concerning the country of origin of cotton jeans which are subjected to certain processing in Singapore.


Three factual situations were presented. In the first, fabric is imported into Singapore where it is cut into garment parts. The cut portions are sent abroad for sewing the front and rear panels which are returned to Singapore for final assembly and finishing. In the second situation, fabric is cut in another country and the cut pieces are sent to Singapore for assembly and finishing. In the third situation, front and rear panels are imported into Singapore where the jeans are completed.

Samples of the jeans in various stages of production were submitted but were lost in transit from our New York office to this headquarters. Cost and time breakdowns furnished for the first described situation clearly indicate that the bulk of the work and expense incurred in the manufacture of the jeans are attributable to the operations performed in Singapore.


The issue presented is whether the operations performed in Singapore are sufficient in each case to cause the imported merchandise to be considered to be products of Singapore for textile restraint purposes.


Section 12.130(b), Customs Regulations, provides that where a textile product is processed in more than one country or territory, it shall be a product of that country or territory where it last underwent a substantial transformation. A textile product will be considered to have undergone a substantial transformation if it has been transformed by means of substantial manufacturing or processing operations into a new and different article of commerce.

In addition, Section 12.130(d), Customs Regulations, provides that a new and different article of commerce will usually result from manufacturing or processing operations if there is a change in (1) commercial identity, (2) fundamental character, or (3) commercial use. That provision also states that in determining whether merchandise has been subjected to substantial manufacturing or processing operations, we will consider the physical change in the material or article, the time involved, the complexity of the operations, the level or degree of skill and/or technology involved, and the value added to the article in each country or territory. Any one or a combination of these factors may be determinative and other factors may also be considered. However, generally, the cutting of garment parts from unmarked fabric will result in a substantial transformation of the fabric.

Since we no longer have the submitted samples and we have been advised that there is a degree of urgency involved, for the purposes of this ruling we will assume that the jeans in question are the usual denim-type nontailored pants and that their assembly merely requires a simple joining of their various parts together by machine stitching.

Under the first situation described above, where the fabrics are cut and the garment parts partially assembled in Singapore after an intervening assembly in a second country, it seems clear that no substantial transformation occurred after the cutting of the garment parts. Therefore, Singapore is the country of origin of those jeans.

In the second situation described above, the garment parts are cut in another country and the jeans are completely assembled in Singapore. In our view, for textile restraint purposes, the assembly of jeans does not constitute a substantial manufacturing or processing operation. Accordingly, in this situation, the jeans would not be considered a product of Singapore.

In the third situation, the front and rear panels are cut and sewn in another country and the garments are finished in Singapore. Without further information, we are unable to determine the country of origin of this merchandise.


Under the first situation, Singapore is the country of origin. Under the second set of facts, Singapore would not be the country of origin; and there is insufficient information to determine the country of origin under the third set of facts.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling