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 0087425 - HQ 0109366 > HQ 0087477

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 087477

August 30, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087477 CC


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.8710

Mr. F. Duane Trout
Cypress Corporation
The Superior Building
815 Superior Ave., N.E.
Cleveland, OH 44114

RE: Classification and country of origin of a surgical towel; classifiable in Heading 6307; cutting, sewing, and finishing operations do not substantially transform

Dear Mr. Trout:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of April 30, 1990, requesting tariff classification and country of origin determinations for a surgical towel. A sample was submitted for examination.


The sample at issue is a surgical towel made of 100 percent cotton fabric. It measures 17 inches by 27 inches and is hemmed on all sides. The sample towel is highly absorbent and is dyed blue. You state that its primary use is for surgical procedures in the medical profession.

The fabric for the towels is produced in China. The dyed and unmarked fabric is imported into American Samoa in rolls 36 inches wide by 250 meters long. All cutting, sewing, and finishing operations are performed in Samoa.


Whether the sample surgical towel is classifiable in Heading 6307 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)?

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


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 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made up articles. We have ruled that surgical towels are classifiable in this heading. (See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 082564, dated December 1, 1988, and HRL 082556, dated November 21, 1988.) Therefore the surgical towel at issue is classifiable in Heading 6307.

Section 12.130 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130) provides that a textile product that is 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.

In HRL 086132, dated February 22, 1990, we ruled that cutting, hemming, and performing finishing operations on surgical towels did not constitute substantial manufacturing or processing operations; consequently, no substantial transformation took place where these operations were performed. Therefore the surgical towel at issue is not substantially transformed in American Samoa, and the country of origin is China.


The sample surgical towel is classified under subheading 6307.90.8710, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up articles, including dress patterns, other, other, surgical towels, cotton towels of pile or tufted construction, surgical towels. The rate of duty is 7 percent ad valorem, and the textile category is 369.

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.

The country of origin of the submitted merchandise is China.

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in section 177.9(b)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(b)(1)). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in connection with the ruling request and incorporated in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect. Should it subsequently be determined that the information furnished is not complete and does not comply with 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1), the ruling will be subject to modification or revocation. In the event there is a change in the facts previously furnished this may affect the determination of country of origin. Accordingly, it is recommended that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with section 177.2, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.2).


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling