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HQ 088968

July 2, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088968 jlj


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9490; 9802.00.80

Mr. Louis Shoichet
Siegel, Mandel & Davidson, P. C.
One Whitehall Street
New York, New York 10004

RE: Classification of a dust cover; Heading 6307; Applicability of subheading 9802.00.80

Dear Mr. Shoichet:

In your letter of March 4, 1991, you requested a tariff classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) for a textile dust cover imported from Honduras or Mexico on behalf of your client, Durafab Inc. of Cleburne, Texas. You also asked whether subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUSA, would apply to the dust cover.

In addition, you requested information about country of origin marking requirements for this product. Your marking questions will be answered in a separate letter to be issued by the Value and Marking Branch.

You submitted a sample along with your letter. This sample is being returned to you as you requested.


The merchandise at issue is a dust cover for a respirator mouthpiece. It is made of 100 percent United States origin "Tyvek" material. ("Tyvek" is a nonwoven fabric consisting of spunbonded olefin, a synthetic fiber made by Du Pont.) The dust cover is designed to protect the mouthpiece component of a cartridge filter respirator from contamination by dust, dirt or other airborne contaminants during storage, shipping or handling.

The "Tyvek" material is exported from the United States in condition ready for assembly, as pre-cut rectangular pieces measuring approximately 6 inches in length.

The assembly operation consists of folding the material in half and sewing the two sides together to form a bag. The bag is then turned so that the seams are on the inside. Elastic is sewn around the opening of the bag. The assembly process will take place in Honduras or Mexico.


(1) What is the HTSUSA classification for the instant merchandise?

(2) Will the dust covers qualify for the partial exemption available under subheading 9802.0080, HTSUSA, when returned to the United States?


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

The Explanatory Notes are the official international interpretation of the tariff. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 6307 state that the heading covers made up articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically in other headings of Section XI or elsewhere in the Nomenclature.

Note 7(d) of Section XI, HTSUSA, defines "made up" to mean "cut to size and having undergone a process of drawn thread work." The instant merchandise is cut to size in the United States and then exported to Honduras or Mexico, where it is folded in half and the two sides are sewn together to form a bag. The bag is then turned inside out, and elastic is sewn around its opening. In view of this assembly process, the merchandise is "made up" for purposes of Heading 6307.

The dust cover is not more specifically described elsewhere in the tariff, therefore it is classified in Heading 6307.

Subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUSA, provides a partial duty exemption for:

Articles assembled in whole or in part of fabricated components, the product of the United States, which were (a) exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their physical identity in such articles in form, shape, or otherwise, and (c) have not been advanced in value or improved in condition abroad except by operations incidental to the assembly process, such as cleaning, lubricating and painting.

All three requirements of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUSA, must be satisfied before a component may receive a duty allowance. An article entered under this tariff provision is subject to duty upon the full cost or value of the imported assembled article, less the cost or value of the U. S. components therein, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of section 10.24, Customs Regulations (10 CFR 10.24).

Section 10.14, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.14 (a)), states in part that:

The components must be in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication at the time of their exportation from the United States to qualify for the exemption. Components will not lose their entitlement to the exemption by being subjected to operations incidental to the assembly either before, during or after their assembly with other components.

Section 10.16 (a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16 (a)), provides that the assembly operation performed abroad may consist of any method used to join or fit together solid components, such as welding, soldering, riveting, force fitting, gluing, laminating, sewing or the use of fasteners.

Operations incidental to the assembly process are not considered further fabrication operations, as they are of a minor nature and cannot always be provided for in advance of the assembly operations. However, any significant process, operation, or treatment whose primary purpose is the fabrication, completion, physical or chemical improvement of a component precludes the application of the exemption under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUSA, to that component. See 19 CFR 10.16 (c).

In the case of the instant merchandise, the operations that entail sewing the pre-cut U. S. origin "Tyvek" material onto itself to form a bag and sewing elastic around the opening of the bag are considered acceptable assembly operations. See 19 CFR 10.16 (a); L'Eggs Products v. United States, Slip Op. 89-5, 13 CIT __, 704 F. Supp. 1127 (CIT 1989), which held that sewing together the end of a pantyhose tube is considered an acceptable assembly operation as the thread serves as a joining agent by joining the tube to itself; and Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 555205 of August 25, 1989, and HRL 555650 of August 8, 1990. Moreover, folding the "Tyvek" material in half prior to the assembly operations is considered to be an operation incidental to assembly. See 19 CFR 10.16 (b) (7) and HRL 555213 of February 21, 1990 (folding greeting cards in half prior to the gluing or taping of attachments to the card is considered incidental to assembly). Therefore, we are of the opinion that returned dust covers for respirator mouth pieces will be entitled to the partial duty exemption under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUSA.


The dust covers are classified under the provision for other made up articles, including dress patterns: other: other: other, in subheading 6307.90.9490, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 7 percent ad valorem.

The instant dust covers qualify for the partial duty exemption available under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUSA, when returned to the United States.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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