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HQ 088901

July 5, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088901 PR


Brenda A. Jacobs, Esquire
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. 1707 L Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Country of Origin of Fabric

Dear Ms. Jacobs:

This is in reply to your submission of March 11, 1991, on behalf of Crown Crafts, Inc., concerning the country of origin of certain fabric. Our ruling on the matter follows.


You state that fabric is woven in Korea and shipped as greige goods in bales to Israel. There it is first cut and sewn into 3000 foot lengths. After that it is singed and desized, washed, dried, subjected to thermofixation (heating the fabric to fix the final elasticity), bleached, printed, placed on a stentor frame, dyed (a light shading), washed, calendered, washed, and pressed.

It is our observation that if a dye was applied to the fabric, it is not readily visible.


The issue presented is whether the fabric is a product of Korea or a product of Israel.


Section 12.130, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130) provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

(b) Country of origin. For the purpose of this section * * * a textile or textile product, subject to section 204, which consists of materials produced or derived from, or processed in, more than one foreign territory or country, or insular possession of the U.S., shall be a product of that foreign territory or country, or insular possession where it last underwent a substantial transformation. A textile or 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.

Section 12.130(e)(1)(i), Customs Regulations, states that "Dyeing of fabric and printing when accompanied by two or more" of certain named major processing operations will usually change the country of origin of that fabric. In Mast Industries v. United States, 11 CIT 30 (1987), the Court of International Trade specifically upheld Customs determination that a fabric must be both dyed and printed in order to have been substantially transformed into a product of the second processing country.

The Customs Service is very much aware that the textile industry is continually adapting to advancements in technology. For that reason, Customs attempts to maintain an open mind to new types of processing and the effects that they may have on the tariff treatment of imported merchandise. Accordingly, while Customs has no prior experience with fabrics that are dyed after having been printed, we have not taken lightly the claim of such processing. However, since this order of processing is somewhat novel, and because a visual examination of the merchandise failed to indicate that the fabric had been dyed, the submitted two samples (one printed and dyed and the other merely printed) were examined by a Customs laboratory. The laboratory report contained the following statement:



In view of the laboratory report, and our own visual examination of the samples, it appears that if the fabric was, in fact, dyed, that process has no meaningful function in relation to the value or identity of the fabric. Accordingly, the fabric is not considered by the Customs Service to be printed and dyed. Therefore, it remains a product of Korea because it has not undergone a substantial transformation in Israel.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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