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HQ 087639

October 26, 1990

CO:R:C:G 087639 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.8710

Mr. Pak Cheung Wong
241 Centre Street
7th Floor
New York, NY 10013

RE: Cutting, sewing and finishing of Chinese fabric in Belize in the manufacture of cotton surgical towels does not constitute a substantial transformation under 19 CFR 12.130. Towel classifiable in heading 6307.

Dear Mr. Wong:

This is in reply to you letter dated June 26, 1990, to our New York office, concerning the classification and country of origin of surgical towels. A sample was submitted.


The sample towel measures approximately 30 by 17 inches and is made from 100 percent cotton. The towels will be cut and sewn in Belize from Chinese fabric. The towels will be imported through the ports of New York, Miami and Elizabeth, New Jersey.


Whether the sample surgical towel is classifiable in heading 6307, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).

Whether the cutting and finishing of the subject merchandise in Belize constitutes a substantial transformation under section 12.130, Customs Regulations.


Articles are classified under the HTSUSA in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of articles is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made up articles. Customs has 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.

Pursuant to section 12.130, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130), a textile that is processed in more than one country or territory is considered to 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 of February 22, 1990, Customs ruled that the cutting, hemming and finishing operations undertaken consequent to the manufacture of surgical towels did not constitute either a substantial manufacturing or processing operation as would result in a substantial transformation under 19 CFR 12.130. The instant surgical towel is therefore not transformed by the operations performed in Belize and the country of origin remains the People's Republic of China, the country where the fabric was woven.


The sample surgical towel is classifiable in subheading 6307.90.8710, HTSUSA, under the provision for other made up articles, including dress patterns, other, other, surgical towels, cotton towels of pile or tufted construction, surgical towels. The towels are dutiable at the rate of 7 percent ad valorem and are subject to textile category 369.

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.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, 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 country of origin of the instant surgical towels is the People's Republic of China.

The holding in this ruling 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. In such a case, it is recommended that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with section 177.2, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.2).


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