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HQ 555395

July 3, 1989

CLA-2-CO:R:C 555395 RA


TARIFF NO.: 9802.00.80, HTSUS

Mr. Richard G. Seley
Rudolph Miles & Sons, Inc.
P.O. Box 144
El Paso, Texas 79942

RE: Applicability of the provision for assembled articles in Subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, to a shoe-shine mitt made by sewing together a single panel

Dear Mr. Seley:

This is in response to your letter of May 12, 1989, requesting a ruling on behalf of MFI International, El Paso, Texas, concerning the tariff treatment of a shoe-shine mitt made in Mexico by stitching together a single fabric panel of U.S. origin.


You state that your client proposes to export a 100 percent cotton or poly-cotton blend fabric panel which has been printed, cut to pattern, and stitched at the top in the U.S. In Mexico, the fabric would be folded over on itself and two of the open sides would be stitched closed. A minor trimming off of one square edge is done as a sewing convenience and some may have a tab sewn on one corner. After sewing, the product is packed for export to the U.S. where it would be sold to hotels for use by their guests.


Will the assembled article qualify for tariff treatment under the provisions of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, by virtue of the panel and thread being joined by sewing?


Subheading 9802.00.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), provides for an allowance in duty for the cost or value of U.S.-made components assembled abroad by the attachment of the various components to form the imported merchandise. The assembly abroad may consist of a joinder of two or more components and includes operations incidental thereto. In view of the recent decision of the Court of International Trade in L'Eggs Products v. U.S., Slip Op. 89-5 (1989), the joining together of a single piece of fabric by means of sewing with thread is now considered to be a qualified assembly. Minor trimming is permitted as an incidental operation. The packaging materials, if of U.S. origin and not improved in condition or advanced in value, would be free of duty as American goods returned under subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS. The duty allowance and free entry would be conditioned upon compliance with the applicable Customs Regulations in sections 10.11-10.24, and 10.1, (19 CFR 10.11-10.24 and 10.1), respectively. The tariff classification of the imported mitt will be the subject of a separate letter.


The production of a shoe-shine mitt by sewing together a single fabric panel of U.S. manufacture, with incidental trimming, is considered to be a qualified assembly under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS. Packaging materials of U.S. origin are free of duty under subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, if not improved in condition or advanced in value abroad.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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