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HQ 555650

August 8, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:V 555650 KAC


TARIFF NO.: 9802.00.80

Ms. Chriselle B. Deignan
Product Manager
Hope Webbing Co.
P.O. Box 6387
Providence, Rhode Island 02940-6387

RE: Applicability of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, to various products made from woven and braided fabrics.Assembly; crimping;sewing;sliding;555205;555564;L'Eggs;Mattell

Dear Ms. Deignan:

This is in response to your letters dated April 2, and 18, 1990, to the District Director, Providence, Rhode Island, requesting a ruling regarding the applicability of subheading 9802.00.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) to various products made from woven and braided fabric. Your letters and samples were forwarded to this office for a response.


Hope Webbing will be shipping various U.S. components to Mexico for assembly into belts, lanyards, neck lanyards, key lanyards, wrist straps, map pockets, tapered straps, and shock cords. The operations performed in Mexico involve feeding webbing through a buckle or hook and sewing the webbing onto itself in order to attach a buckle; sewing pieces of braid together; crimping clasps together over cable to secure a hook, ring or loop; crimping rings over one strand of cable to form a loop; crimping barb tips to ends of mesh pocket; and sliding a bead slide, santoprene sleeve, or cinch slide over braid. The above-described operations will be performed in various combinations in order to manufacture the previously described products.

After completion of the above operations, the various products will be returned to the U.S.


Whether the products made from woven and braided fabrics will be eligible for the partial duty exemption available under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, when imported into the U.S.


HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80 provides a partial duty exemption for:

[a]rticles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, 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 condition abroad except by being assembled and except by operations incidental to the assembly process, such as cleaning, lubrication, and painting.

All three requirements of HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80 must be satisfied before a component may receive a duty allowance. An article entered under this tariff provision is subject to duty upon the full cost or value of the imported assembled article, less the cost or value of the U.S. components assembled therein, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of section 10.24, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.24).

Section 10.16(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(a)), provides that the assembly operation 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 operations that entail sewing fabric onto itself and attaching two or more components together by sewing or crimping are considered acceptable assembly operations. See, 19 CFR 10.16(a); L'Eggs Products v. United States, Slip Op. 89-5, 13 CIT , 704 F.Supp. 1127 (CIT 1989), which held that sewing together the end of a pantyhose tube is considered an acceptable assembly operation as the thread serves as a joining agent by joining the tube to itself; and Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 555205 dated August 25, 1989, which held that crimping a terminal onto a wire was an acceptable assembly operation.

Sliding the bead slide, santoprene sleeve, and cinch slide onto the cord or braid is an acceptable joinder of two components. See, 19 CFR 10.16(a), and HRL 555564 dated May 1, 1990, which held that sliding one component over another is an acceptable assembly operation. Even though the joinder is not a permanent attachment as the components may be detached from one another, the components are not designed to be detached and the joinder is necessary for the assembled article to function properly. See, Mattell, Inc. v. United States, 67 CCPA 74, C.A.D. 1248, 624 F.2d 1076 (1980), rev'g, 82 Cust.Ct. 234, C.D. 4805, 475 F.Supp. 683 (1979), in which the court held that phonograph records packaged in envelopes and stapled to talking toy phones were classified under item 807.00, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS) (now subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS). In Mattel, the records were not meant to be permanently attached to the toy phone as the consumer was to pull off the record to use it in the talking toy phone.


On the basis of the information and samples submitted, it is our opinion that the operations performed abroad to create the various products are considered proper assembly operations Therefore, they may enter under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, with allowances in duty for the cost or value of the U.S. components incorporated therein, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of 19 CFR 10.24.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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