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HQ 083544

February 28, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083544 CC


TARIFF NO.: 6302.91.0005, 6304.92.0000, 6307.10.2027

Mr. Andrew P. Vance
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
475 Park Avenue South
New York, N.Y. 10016

RE: Classification, country of origin, and marking for a "three- piece kitchen set"

Dear Mr. Vance:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of November 23, 1988, requesting country of origin, tariff classification, and marking determinations for a "three-piece kitchen set" under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The sample at issue is composed of three items: a kitchen towel, a dishcloth, and a potholder. The kitchen towel is made of 100 percent cotton woven fabric, with a waffle-weave and three stripes running through the pattern. It measures 25 inches by 16 inches. The dishcloth and potholder are made of the same material as the kitchen towel. The dishcloth measures 12 inches by 11 inches, and the potholder measures 6 3/4 inches by 6 3/4 inches. The potholder is made of two pieces of fabric sewn together, with a strip of edging sewn on all sides.

The kitchen towel, dishcloth, and potholder each have an attached label which contains the words "Made in China." The three articles are attached to a tag which contains the words "NEW YORK NY."

According to your submissions, unmarked fabric from China, Taiwan, and other fabric producing countries will be imported into the Philippines and will undergo the following production processes: making of pre-production samples; making of paper pattern; drawing of marker on the cutting table; laying and cutting of fabric; sewing of towel, dishcloth and potholder; ironing of towel, dishcloth, and potholder; packing, and shipping.


Is the merchandise at issue classifiable as a set?

What is the country of origin of the merchandise at issue?

Is the merchandise at issue properly marked?



Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI 's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 6302, HTSUSA, provides for kitchen linen, among other articles. According to the Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, articles in Heading 6302 are usually made of cotton or flax, and include kitchen linen such as tea towels and glass cloths. The kitchen towel would be considered an article of kitchen linen and is classifiable as such.

The Explanatory Notes to Heading 6302 state that articles such as floor cloths, dishcloths, scouring cloths, dusters and similar cleaning cloths, generally made of coarse, thick material, are not regarded as falling within the description of kitchen linen and are excluded form Heading 6302; instead, such items are classifiable in Heading 6307, HTSUSA. Thus the dishcloth is classifiable in Heading 6307.

HRL 084854, dated June 27, 1989, copy attached, found that a potholder was not considered to be kitchen linen. Instead, it was classifiable in Heading 6304, HTSUSA, which provides for other furnishing articles. Thus, the potholder at issue is classifiable in Heading 6304.

GRI 3 deals with the classification of goods put up in sets for retail sale. According to the Explanatory Notes, "goods put up in sets for retail sale" refers to goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity;

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

HRL 081314, dated May 18, 1989, copy attached, found that merchandise consisting of kitchen towels, dishcloths, and potholders was not classifiable as a set since it did not consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity. Thus, the merchandise at issue is not classifiable as a set.

Country of Origin

Under Section 12.130 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130), textile or textile products which consist of materials produced or derived from, or processed in, more than one foreign territory or country shall be a product of that foreign territory or country where it last underwent a substantial transformation. A textile or 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) of the Customs Regulations sets forth criteria in determining whether a substantial transformation of a textile product has taken place. This regulation states that these criteria are not exhaustive; one or any combination of criteria may be determinative, and additional factors may be considered.

Section 12.130(d)(2) of the regulations states that in determining whether merchandise has been subjected to substantial manufacturing or processing operations, the following factors will be considered in each country: the physical change in the material or article, the time involved in manufacturing or processing operations, the complexity of the operations, the level or degree of skill and/or technology required, and the value added to the article.

Section 12.130(e)(2) of the regulations provides that an article or material usually will not be considered to be a product of a particular foreign territory or country by virtue of merely having undergone the following:

(ii) cutting to length or width and hemming or overlocking fabrics which are readily identifiable as being intended for a particular commercial use.

You state that for any one, or any combination, of the following reasons, 19 CFR 12.130(e)(2)(ii) is inapplicable to the submitted merchandise: the fabric is not pre-marked, the fabric is not intended for any particular commercial use, and most of the fabric is cut to both length and width. In addition, you believe that according to the criteria set forth in 19 CFR 12.130(d)(1) and 12.130(d)(2), each of the articles at issue has been substantially transformed by the cutting and finishing operations in the Philippines.

Even if 19 CFR 12.130(e)(2)(ii) is inapplicable, we would not agree that either the kitchen towel or dishcloth has undergone a substantial transformation in the Philippines. Applying the criteria under 19 CFR 12.130, we do not believe that the processes performed on these two articles in the Philippines are substantial. For example, the complexity of the operations performed on the kitchen towel and dishcloth and the level and degree of skill needed to perform those operations are not sufficient to be considered substantial manufacturing or processing operations. In addition, there have been no other factors presented to indicate that the processing operations performed in the Philippines are substantial. Therefore, for the kitchen towel and the dishcloth, the last substantial transformation takes place where the fabric is made.

The processes performed on the potholder consist of cutting two pieces of cloth from the fabric and sewing them together with an edging. We believe that the operations performed on the potholder in the Philippines are substantial. Therefore, the last substantial transformation for the potholder takes place in the Philippines.


Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930 as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), requires that every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser the English name of the country of origin of the article. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), provides, in part, that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. We believe that the submitted samples, which each have an attached label, meet the above cited marking requirements when marked with the proper country of origin.

Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), sets forth special requirements that are applicable when the name of a country or locality other than the country of origin appears on the imported article. Specifically, 19 CFR 134.46 requires that the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or other words of similar meaning shall appear, legibly and permanently, and in close proximity to such words and in at least a comparable size.

The three articles are attached to a tag which contains the words "NEW YORK NY." Nowhere on the tag is the country of origin of the kitchen towel, the dishcloth, and the potholder listed. Therefore, the marking requirements of Section 134.46 of the Customs Regulations have not been met.


The kitchen towel is classified under subheading 6302.91.0005, HTSUSA, which provides for kitchen linen, other, of cotton, of pile or tufted construction, towels, dish, textile category 369, and dutiable at the rate of 10.5 percent ad valorem.

The dishcloth is classified under subheading 6307.10.2027, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up articles, other, dish cloths, of cotton, textile category 369, and dutiable at the rate of 10.5 percent ad valorem.

The potholder is classified under subheading 6304.92.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for other furnishing articles, excluding those of Heading 9404, other, not knitted or crocheted, of cotton, textile category 369, and dutiable at the rate of 7.2 percent ad valorem.

The country of origin for the kitchen towel and the dishcloth would be the fabric producing country. The country of origin for the potholder would be the Philippines.

The labels attached to all three articles satisfy the marking requirements of 19 CFR 134.41 when marked with the proper country of origin. The tag does not meet the requirements of 19 CFR 134.46.

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

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 U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.


John Durant, Director

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