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 > 1991 HQ Rulings > HQ 0088234 - HQ 0088312 > HQ 0088235

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 088235

March 15, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088235 CMR


David C. Williams, Esq.
Neville, Peterson & Williams
39 Broadway
New York, New York 10006

RE: Country of origin of five different garments Israeli fabric, cut in Israel, assembled elsewhere

Dear Mr. Williams:

This ruling is in response to your submission of November 14, 1990, on behalf of your client, Ram Tov Industries, requesting a determination of the country of origin of five different garments made from Israeli fabric which is cut in Israel and assembled elsewhere. Samples of the garments at issue were received by this office.


The garments at issue include a nightshirt, sweatshirt, polo shirt, turtleneck and a pullover. All five garments will undergo the same production steps in Israel before assembly abroad.

The production steps in Israel consist of the following:

1. Cotton or blended cotton/man-made fabric that has been knit and dyed in Israel will be purchased by Ram Tov.

2. The fabric will be cut into garment pieces.

3. The pieces will be packaged with other components of Israeli origin such as buttons and thread.

The finished components will be sent abroad for assembly into the finished garments. The exact country of assembly has not been determined yet, though it is anticipated that the assembly will occur in Turkey. Cost and time figures, therefore, were submitted based on Turkey as the country of assembly.

The assembled garments will either be returned to Israel for finishing, inspection and packing or the finishing, inspection and packing will occur in the country of assembly whereafter the goods will be returned to Israel.


Is the country of origin of the subject garments Israel or the country of assembly?


Country of origin determinations for textile articles are governed by the criteria set forth in volume 19, Code of Federal Regulations, section 12.130. Section 12.130(d) sets out the basic guidelines for determining the country of origin of textiles or textile articles. While not exhaustive, it enumerates various criteria utilized in determining whether a new and different article of commerce is created as a result of a manufacturing or processing operation and whether merchandise has been subjected to substantial manufacturing or processing operations.

In Section 12.130(e)(1), various processes which will be viewed as sufficient to convey country of origin designation are listed. In pertinent part, the regulation states that an article will usually be considered a product of a country if it has undergone in that country,

(v) Substantial assembly by sewing and/or tailoring of all cut pieces of apparel articles which have been cut from fabric in another foreign territory or country, or insular possession, into a completed garment (e.g., the complete assembly and tailoring of all cut pieces of suit-type jackets, suits, and shirts).

Additionally, the regulation states at Section 12.130(e)(2) that an article usually will not be considered a product of a country if it has merely undergone in that country,

(i) Simple combining operations, labeling, pressing, cleaning or dry cleaning, or packaging operations, or any combination thereof;

Having examined samples of the finished garments and samples of the garment pieces, Customs is of the view that the assembly operations required to complete the garments are not substantial. The assembly requires fairly simple sewing which, as you indicate on your submission, does not require highly skilled workers to perform or a substantial amount of time.

Customs has ruled on similar garments in which the cutting and assembly occur in different countries and has consistently held that unless the assembly operations are substantial, the country of origin remains the country where the components of the garment are cut. See, HRL 088022 of 2/7/91, HRL 084427 of 8/30/89.

In regard to the final processing of the garments, described in your letter as the finishing, inspection and packaging, it is of no consequence whether these operations occur in Israel, Turkey, or some other locale. Finishing, inspection and packaging are not considered sufficient operations to "substantially transform" an article and thus change the country of origin. Therefore, the country of origin of the garments at issue here is determined to be that country in which the fabric for the garments is cut.


The country of origin of the garments at issue here, produced as described above, is Israel.

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
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling