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HQ 554956

April 6, 1988



TARIFF NO: 9802.00.00 (807.00, TSUS)

Mr. Rafael Etzion
Variety Accessories Inc.
P.O. Box 4528
Great Neck, N.Y. 11027

RE: Duty-free eligibility of certain "Christmas Bows" assembled in Guatemala

Dear Mr. Etzion:

In your letter of March 11, 1988, you mentioned that your company is planning to duplicate a "Christmas Bow" assembly operation, currently in Haiti, in Guatemala. You ask that the articles produced in Guatemala be afforded the same duty-free treatment given the articles produced in Haiti, in accordance with the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI).


You included, with your letter, a copy of Headquarters ruling 553674, dated June 14, 1985. The operation described in this ruling is, you state, identical to the one you propose to begin in Guatemala. Ribbon, from the U.S., will be exported in cut lengths, along with 10 inch cards, labels, plastic bags, tinsel wire, and packaging materials. The ribbon will be folded into a bow shape and tied in the center with the exported tinsel wire to hold the bow shape. The bows will be mounted, 12 to a card, each card packaged and stapled in a poly bag, and returned to the U.S. In HQ 553674, we held that item 807.00, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS) (9802.00.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS)), would be applicable to this operation and that if the bows were in chief value of plastic, classifiable in item 772.95, TSUS (9505.10.20, HTS), they would be eligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP or CBI, upon compliance with all applicable regulations and if the 35% value-added criterion is satisfied.


We agree that the process described in HQ 553674 would satisfy the requirements of item 870.00, TSUS. However, we question whether the CBI or GSP would be applicable.

In order for merchandise to be eligible for duty-free treatment under the CBI or GSP the article must be, grown, produced, or manufactured in the beneficiary country (for CBI, any beneficiary country) and it must meet the following rules-of- origin. First, an article must be imported directly from a beneficiary country; second, the cost or value of the article must consist of at least 35% direct cost of processing in the beneficiary country (for CBI, processing may take place in more than one beneficiary country and U.S.-made components may comprise 15 percentage points of the 35, leaving 20% value-added in beneficiary countries); and third, any product including foreign components must be substantially transformed into a "new and different article of commerce" in the beneficiary country (in one or more beneficiary countries for CBI).

It is hard to conceive, considering the fact that the components are sent from the U.S., and are merely assembled in Guatemala, that the operation described in your letter could satisfy the country-of-origin requirements of either the CBI or GSP. However, if you provide a detailed submission which addresses the problems mentioned herein, we will be glad to review the matter. We have included some material pertaining to the CBI and GSP that you may find helpful.


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