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HQ 555175

March 13, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:V 555175 GRV


TARIFF NO.: 9802.00.80, HTSUS (formerly 807.00, TSUS)

Norman Katz, Esq.
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
475 Park Avenue South
New York, N.Y. 10016

RE: Applicability of partial duty exemption under HTSUS sub- heading 9802.00.80 to certain ladies' sleepwear to be imported from a Caribbean country

Dear Mr. Katz:

This is in response to your letter of April 18, 1988, on behalf of Dawson Industries, Inc., requesting a ruling on the applicability of subheading 9802.00.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) (formerly item 807.00, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS)), to an inked crest pressed (heat transferred) onto ladies' sleepwear to be imported from a Caribbean country. A sample of the ladies' sleepwear with the crest attached thereto was submitted for examination.


You state that ladies' sleepwear to be assembled abroad from U.S. components will have a crest, i.e., logotype, applied to the front part of the garment bearing the words "Sleep Club" and the initials "S.C." during the assembly operation. The crest will be placed on the garment by means of a heat-screen transfer process. The U.S.-manufactured screen consists of large sheets of paper upon which special inks and colors are superimposed by curing in an oven. The cured sheets of paper are exported and then pressed onto the fabric by a heat press machine at 370-400 degrees minimum heat at a pressure of 40-80 pounds per square inch for 5-7 seconds, after which the paper is peeled and the screen is transfered onto the fabric.


Whether the heat transfer of the inked crest to the ladies' sleepwear constitutes an acceptable assembly operation for purposes of HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80.


Effective January 1, 1989, the HTSUS superseded and re- placed the TSUS. TSUS item 807.00 was carried over into the HTSUS without change as subheading 9802.00.80. This tariff provision provides a partial duty exemption for articles:

...assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated com- ponents, the product of the United States, which (a) were exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape, or otherwise, and (c) have not been advanced in value or improved in condi- tion abroad except by being assembled and except by opera- tions incidental to the assembly process such as cleaning, lubricating and painting.

An article entered under HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80 is subject to duty upon the full value of the imported assembled article less the cost or value of such U.S. components, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of section 10.24, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.24).

Section 10.12(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.12(d)), defines a fabricated component as a manufactured article ready for assembly in the condition as exported except for operations incidental to the assembly. Section 10.16(a), Customs Regula- tions (19 CFR 10.16(a)), provides, in part, as follows:

The assembly operations performed abroad may consist of any method used to join or fit together solid components, such as welding, soldering, riveting, force fitting, gluing, laminating, sewing, or the use of fasteners....The mixing or combining of liquids, gases, chemicals, food ingredi- ents, and amorphous solids with each other or with solid components is not regarded as an assembly. (Emphasis supplied).

In this case, as the inked crest is oven cured, it is a solid. Further, in Ruling 078580/554470 (April 20, 1987) we held that the application of appliques and decals by heat transfer constitutes an acceptable assembly operation by means of heat and pressure. Consistent with our prior ruling on this subject, we are of the opinion that the heat transfer process employed to transfer the cured ink crest onto the sleepwear articles consti- tutes an acceptable assembly operation for purposes of HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80.


On the basis of the described assembly operation and after examining the sample submitted, it is our opinion that the cured ink crest is a solid and that the heat transfer operation affixing it to the ladies' sleepwear constitutes an acceptable assembly operation for purposes of HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80. Accordingly, allowances in duty may be made under this tariff provision for the cost or value of the inked crest and other U.S. fabricated components that are to be assembled abroad into the ladies' sleepwear, upon compliance with the applicable Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.11-10.24).


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