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 0088312

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 088312

May 14, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088312 JLJ


TARIFF NO.: 6701.00.0000

Mr. Tom La Brose
MKC Custom Brokers Inc.
P.O. Box 66332
Chicago, Illinois 60666

RE: Turkey-Ostrich Feather Jacket: Classification and Status of South African Sanctions

Dear Mr. La Brose:

This is in reference to your letter of November 29, 1990, in which you requested a tariff classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) for a feather-covered women's jacket manufactured in the People's Republic of China. Two photographs of the jacket were submitted to this office.

Since some of the feathers covering the jacket are from South Africa, there is also a question as to whether the sanctions of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, Pub. L. 99-440, 100 Stat. 1086, as amended by H.R. Res. 756, Pub. L. 99-631, 100 Stat. 3515 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) apply or not.


Under the Act, the importation of certain South African products, including agricultural products, byproducts and derivatives thereof is prohibited. The finished women's jacket is a 20 inch long anorak with an exterior covered entirely in turkey and ostrich feathers.

The ostrich feathers are a product of South Africa. The turkey feathers are of United States origin. The acetate shell and lining are from the People's Republic of China.

The invoice describes the jacket, style No. J38FQ, as a "turkey and ostrich feather jacket for ladies." It states that the shell and the lining are 100 percent acetate. The commercial invoice states that the jacket is manufactured in the People's

Republic of China.

The broker has advised us that the jacket is assembled by sewing the ostrich feathers and the turkey feathers onto the outer surface of the acetate shell. The turkey and ostrich feathers are used in approximately equal amounts.


(1) What is the proper tariff classification of the instant jacket?

(2) Is the finished jacket subject to the sanctions of the Act because of the South African feathers included in it?


The two HTSUSA headings at issue are Heading 6701, which covers articles of feathers, and Heading 6202, which provides for women's anorak jackets of man-made textile fiber.

Chapter Note 67 2(b) states that Heading 6701 does not cover articles of apparel in which feathers constitute no more than mere trimming or padding.

Section Note 1(p) of Section XI, pertaining to textiles and textile articles, states that Section XI does not cover goods of Chapter 67.

Finally, the Explanatory Notes for Heading 6701 echo Chapter Note 2(b) in excluding only articles of apparel which are merely trimmed with feathers. The General Explanatory Notes to Chapter 62 go much farther, however, in stating:

The classification of goods in this
Chapter is not affected by the presence of parts or accessories of, for example, knitted or crocheted fabrics, furskin, feather, leather, plastics or metal. Where, however, the presence of such materials constitutes more than mere trimming the articles are classified in accordance with the relative Chapter Notes (particularly
... Note 2(b) to Chapter 67, relating to the presence of ... feathers...)....

Taking Note 2(b) in context, where feathers constitute more than mere trim on apparel, the apparel is classified in Heading 6701 as articles of feathers. To be more specific, the instant jacket is classified in subheading 6701.00.0000, HTSUSA, under the provision for feathers, parts of feathers, down and articles thereof, dutiable at the rate of 4.7 percent ad valorem.

The remaining issue is whether the country of origin of the jacket is South Africa, and under the sanctions of the Act, cannot be imported. Under the Act, certain unprocessed ostrich feathers were regarded as an agricultural commodity, while others which had been further processed were not. However, the instant South African ostrich feathers have been processed, combined with turkey feathers and sewn onto an acetate shell to make a jacket.

The Act prohibits importation into the United States of any "(1) agricultural commodity or product or any byproduct or derivative thereof ... that is a product of South Africa...." See also 31 CFR 545.205. Under these provisions and recent HTSUSA guidelines, articles classified in subheading 6701.00.0000 are prohibited importations if their country of origin is South Africa. Section 545.414, South African Transactions Regulations (SATR), 31 CFR 545.414, states that determinations of country of origin for purposes of this part will be made in accordance with normal Customs rules of origin.

The term "country of origin" is defined in 19 CFR 134.1(b) as the "country of manufacture, production or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States." Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the "country of origin" within the meaning of these regulations.

In order for there to be a finding of a substantial transformation, an article having a new name, character and use must emerge from the processing. See United States v. Gibson -Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267, C.A.D. 98 (1940). The instant ostrich feathers, after having been bleached and dyed, were combined with turkey feathers and sewn onto an acetate shell with lining, making a woman's jacket. The jacket has a new name, character and use from the feathers. The feathers were a raw material; the jacket is a final product. It is obvious that a substantial transformation has occurred, changing the South African feathers into a jacket manufactured in the People's Republic of China.

Following the definition set forth in 19 CFR 134.1(b), the country of manufacture (i.e., the People's Republic of China) is the country of origin.


We have carefully reviewed this matter and, in accordance with established procedures concerning the Act, have coordinated the decision with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). We find that the South African feathers have been substantially transformed into a jacket of Chinese origin. Accordingly, the finished garment is considered to be a product of China, and the sanctions of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 do not apply to the instant jacket.

The jacket is classified in subheading 6701.00.0000, HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling