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 0088548 - HQ 0088639 > HQ 0088551

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 088551

June 3, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088551 JS


TARIFF NO.: 6302.59.0000

Rowena Leung
Paper White, Ltd.
Post Office Box 956
Fairfax, CA 94930

RE: Napkin and placemat; kitchen linen; classifiable heading 6302, HTSUSA

Dear Ms. Leung:

This is in reference to your letter of January 18, 1991, requesting classification of a napkin and placemat, made in China and finished in Hong Kong.


The samples at issue consist of two napkins and two placemats. Your letter indicates that classification is requested for the set which is finished in Hong Kong, designated no. 4142. Another napkin and placemat "set" is designated no. 4141, and represents the condition of the merchandise after being produced in China. You state that the China-made fabric is 100 percent ramie, whereas the lace edging produced and attached in Hong Kong is made of 100 percent cotton.

The napkins measure approximately 20 square inches and the placemats are approximately 12 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches. The lace- edged samples have an additional 1/2 inch on each side. Style no. 4141 is finely hemmed with open work between the woven material and the one inch hem. Nonetheless, you state that "One (set) is before any processing, the material is from China. The other one is after processing in Hong Kong." Style no. 4142 has identical features but for the added lace trim.

You state that the manufacturing cost of a napkin and placemat "set" is 23 percent of the total cost, that the lace trim constitutes 67 percent of total cost and that the processing cost of the lace trim is 10 percent of total cost.



1) What is the appropriate classification of the present merchandise under the HTSUSA.

2) What is the country of origin for visa and quota purposes.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes.

Heading 6302, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, table linen. The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, state that the heading includes, e.g., table cloths, table mats and runners, tray cloths, table centers, serviettes, tea napkins, sachets for serviettes, doilies, drip mats (emphasis added). It also states that these articles are usually made of cotton or flax, but sometimes also of hemp, ramie or man-made fibres, etc. Since both the napkins and the table mats (herein referred to as placemats) are contemplated under this heading, and both are made of ramie, classification of this merchandise as table linen is appropriate.

Although the placemats and napkins are identical in color, style and construction, and, despite their complimentary roles, they are not considered a "set" for purposes of classification under the HTSUSA. A prerequisite to set analysis under GRI 3 is the potential classification of two or more of the items at issue under separate headings. In this case, however, both the napkin and the placemat are classifiable under the same heading.

The country of origin of textiles and textile products is determined by the application of Section 12.130 of the Customs Regulations. In determining the country of origin of textile or textile products which consist of materials produced or derived from, or processed in, more than one country, the imported article is considered to be a product of the country in which the last substantial transformation took place. A product has 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. A new and different article of commerce will usually result when there is a change in commercial designation or identity, fundamental character or commercial use.


The criteria used to determine whether a textile product has undergone substantial manufacturing or processing operations are outlined in Section 12.130(d), and include, among other things, the physical change in the material or article and the complexity of the operations. Under 19 C.F.R. Section 12.130(e)(1), an article will be considered a product of a particular country on the basis of the following operations:

(iii) Weaving, knitting or otherwise forming fabric;

(iv) Cutting of fabric into parts and the assembly of those parts into the completed article;

Since the raw material produced in China is specially woven, and cut and sewn in China to form either a napkin or placemat, a substantial transformation is deemed to have occurred in that country. When the goods are exported from China to Hong Kong, they have already been formed into completed articles, napkins and placemats. Therefore, the Chinese processing of ramie into table linen constitutes a substantial manufacturing process resulting in a new and different article of commerce in accordance with Section 12.130(b).

The processing which takes place in Hong Kong, however, does not indicate that trimming the finished napkins and placemats with lace requires anything more than a simple sewing operation which does not constitute substantial manufacturing or processing as required by 19 CFR 12.130.


Both the napkin and the placemat of item no. 4142 are classified under subheading 6302.59.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: other table linen: of other textile materials, textile category 899, dutiable at the rate of 10 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 you check, close the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service which is updated weekly and 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 for the merchandise at issue is China, and a Chinese visa must accompany the goods.

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 Customs Regulations 19 CFR 177.9 (b)(1), which states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all information furnished in connection with the ruling request and incorporated therein, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect. Should it be subsequently 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 that there is a change in the facts previously furnished, the country of origin determination may be affected. In such case, 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 Operations Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: