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HQ 086857

June 26, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086857 JS


Robert M. Paisley
Baltic Linen Company
3495 Lawson Boulevard
P.O. Box 150
Oceanside, NY 11572

RE: Country of Origin of Table linen Fabric

Dear Mr. Paisley:

This is in reference to your letters of May 20, 1990, and May 30, 1990, requesting a country of origin determination on various processing stages of table linen fabric.


The samples provided for inspection consist of three pieces of fabric, each at a different stage in the production of table linen. The first is a 68" x 29" length of unbleached fabric which is in the loom state. The second is a 54" x 28" length of bleached finished fabric (you state that the bleaching and finishing processes are two separate operations). The third is a sample of a finished table napkin; it measures approximately 19 square inches and three sides are hemmed and sewn. The fourth side is not hemmed, but is woven as a finished edge.

The information you provided with respect to fabric value is that the unbleached unfinished fabric is approximately 70 percent of the value of the final product, and that finished fabric constitutes approximately 80 percent of the value of the final product.


1) What is the country of origin for fabric which is shipped from country A in an unfinished loom state, to country B where bleaching, shrinking, drying, calandering and the processes of cutting and sewing into finished table linen will be performed?

2) What is the country of origin of fabric which is bleached and finished in country A, and then shipped to country B where cutting and sewing into finished table linen will take place?


The country of origin of textiles and textile products is determined by the application of Section 12.130 of the Customs Regulations. In determining the country of origin of textile and textile products which consist of materials produced or derived from, or processed in, more than one country, the imported article is considered to be a product of the country in which the last substantial transformation took place. A substantial transformation of a textile or textile product is said to occur if a commodity undergoes a transformation by means of substantial manufacturing or processing into a new and different article of commerce.

Section 12.130 (d) establishes criteria for determining whether an article has been substantially transformed. However, the criteria set forth in 19 CFR 12.130(d) are not exhaustive; one or any combination of these criteria may be determinative, and additional factors may be considered.

In accordance with 19 CFR 12.130 (d)(2), the following factors are to be considered in determining whether merchandise has been subjected to substantial manufacturing or processing operations: the physical change in the material or article, the time involved in the manufacturing or processing operations, the complexity of the operations, the level or degree of skill and/or technology required, as well as the value added to the article.

Under 19 CFR 12.130 (e)(2), a material usually will not be considered a product of a particular country if it has merely undergone such changes as are listed, in part, below:

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

(iv) one or more finishing operations on yarns, fabrics or other textile articles, such as showerproofing, superwashing, bleaching, decating, fulling, shrinking, mercerizing, or similar operations;

With regard to issue one, the bleaching, shrinking and other finishing operations conducted in country B, are not significant enough to mark country B as the country of origin pursuant to 19 CFR 12.130 (e)(2)(iv). The facts further indicate that the unfinished unbleached fabric (which is produced in country A) is approximately 70 percent of the value of the finished product. Thus, absent any additional data concerning the complexity of the cutting, sewing and finishing operations vis a vis the weaving operation, Customs deems weaving to be the more complex of the two.

Likewise, with regard to issue 2, the cutting and sewing of the raw bleached material into table linen does not constitute a substantially transforming manufacturing process. See, 19 CFR 12.130 (e)(2)(ii). Since there is nothing to suggest that the cutting and sewing of the fabric is in any degree a complex operation as regards, for example, the time or level of skill required, or that the assembly requires anything more than a simple folding over of the edges by machine stitching, it is Customs view that the table linen fabric has not undergone a substantial manufacturing or processing operation. The fact that the finished fabric (produced in country A) is approximately 80 percent of the value of the final product supports this conclusion. See also, HRL 082747 (February 23, 1988), concerning the country of origin of jeans. Consequently, the fabric has not been substantially transformed in Country B. Wherever the fabric is produced is therefore the country of origin pursuant to 19 CFR 12.130 for quota and country of origin marking purposes.


The assembly operations performed in country B do not constitute a substantial transformation as required by 19 CFR 12.130. The country of origin for the merchandise at issue is Country A, and a Country A visa must accompany the goods when shipped to another country.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Operations Division

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