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HQ 082787


March 9, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082787 PR

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

TARIFF NO: (no tariff number used

Thomas G. Travis, Esquire
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
444 Brickell Avenue
Miami, Fla. 33131-2470

RE: Country of origin of two garments

Dear Mr. Travis:

This is in reply to your letter of September 7, 1988, on behalf of Fashion Rite, concerning the country of origin of garments assembled in one country from parts pre-cut in another country. The classification of the subject garments was not requested and, therefore, will not be included in this ruling.

FACTS:

Four samples were submitted--(1) a completed two-piece child's jogging suit; (2) the cut components ready to be assembled into the jogging suit; (3) a completed child's lightweight jacket; and (4) the cut components ready to be assembled into the jacket. It is stated that each garment will be assembled in Central America from components pre-cut in the Far East.

The jacket has a woven man-made fiber outer shell and is entirely lined with a woven fabric that appears to be cotton. It has a full front zippered opening; an attached hood (also lined) secured with a drawstring around its opening; a drawstring waist; long sleeves with elasticized ends; a pocket secured with a metal snap inserted in each side seam; and double thicknesses of half-moon shaped fabrics inserted at the top of each of the shoulder/sleeve seams. Contrasting narrow piping appears along the edge of the half-moon shaped fabrics and along the seams where the single back panel extends over each shoulder to join with each front quarter panel. Decorative appliques and stitching creating a panda holding three heart-shaped balloons have been applied to the front of the garment. These decorations (but not the piping) are part of the garment parts prior to exportation to Central America.

A listing of the thirty-two assembly operations necessary to complete the jacket was submitted.

The jogging suit pants consist essentially of four knit panels, napped on the inside, stitched together to form the garment. It has an elasticized waist; rib knit leg bottoms (cuffs); and thin contrasting piping inserted into the side seams. A listing of the twelve assembly steps necessary to complete the garment was submitted.

The shirt portion of the jogging suit is made from similar knit fabrics. The neckline is created by two rib knit bands of fabric. It also has rib knit sleeve cuffs and a rib knit waistband. The back panel is formed by a single piece of fabric; each sleeve is formed by two panels; and the front of the shirt consists of three horizontal panels, the topmost one extending partly into the sleeve areas. An airplane and lettering are printed on two front panels. A list of the twenty-three assembly operations necessary to form the completed shirt has been submitted.

Attached as an addendum to this ruling are rough sketches of each of the completed garments.

ISSUE:

The issue presented is whether the assembly operations performed on each garment are sufficient to cause those garments to be products of the country of assembly.

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Section 12.130(b), Customs Regulations, provides that a textile product processed in more than one country or territory 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.

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.

Section 12.130(e)(2) provides that an article usually will not be a product of a country if it has undergone, among other things, either simple combining operations or the joining together of knit-to-shape component parts.

In considering the extent of the assembly operations performed on the subject garments, the complexity, the time and the skill involved, we conclude that the fully lined jacket will be considered to have undergone a substantial transformation in the country of assembly. However, the shirt and pants forming the jogging suit each have undergone simple combining operations. In this regard, we are aware that there is a distinction between the cut knit pieces forming each garment of the jogging suit and the knit-to-shape parts referred to in the regulation. However, we are unable to distinguish the time, expense, complexity, and other factors involved in the assembly of these jogging suit garments from those same factors if the garments were being assembled from knit-to-shape parts.

HOLDING:

The assembly of all the component parts forming the lined jacket (excluding the appliques) constitutes a substantial transformation of those cut pieces and will cause that garment to be a product of the country of assembly.

The assembly of the cut pieces into each garment of the jogging suit does not result in a substantial transformation of those pieces and each garment is a product of the country where the pieces were cut.

Sincerely,

John Durant, Director

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