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HQ 556099

July 31, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:S 556099 KCC


TARIFF NO.: 9802.00.80

Ms. Gloria M. Columbe
A.N. Deringer, Inc.
30 West Service Road
Champlain, New York 12919-9703

RE: Belts created by cutting, laminating, force fitting, and riveting.Further fabrication; assembly; 19 CFR 10.14(a); 19 CFR 10.16(a); 19 CFR 10.16(c)(2)

Dear Ms. Columbe:

This is in response to your letter dated June 13, 1991, on behalf of H.T.C. Industries, requesting a ruling concerning the applicability of subheading 9802.00.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), to belts to be imported from Canada. A sample was submitted for examination.


U.S.-origin materials, such as two types of non-woven material in 45 inch widths, fabric, buckles, and rivets are shipped to Canada for manufacture into a belt. In Canada, the operations will consist of the following:

1) two non-woven materials are cut to width and length; 2) fabric is cut to specific shape;
3) the two pieces of non-woven material are laid on top of one another, and the cut fabric is shaped over the two pieces of non-woven material to create a belt strap; 4) the two pieces of non-woven material and fabric are laminated together;
5) fabric is cut to shape to form the buckle; 6) the fabric is placed over the front of the buckle and then the buckle's back metal plate is force fitted into the front of the buckle permanently securing the fabric in place; and
7) the belt strap is riveted to the buckle.

Upon completion of the foreign operations, the belts will be imported into the U.S.


Whether the belts will qualify for the partial duty exemption available under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, when imported into the U.S.


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

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

All three requirements of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, 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 assembled therein, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of section 10.24, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.24).

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

[t]he 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.

We are of the opinion that the U.S.-origin non-woven materials and fabric cut to shape in Canada will not be eligible for the duty allowance available under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS. Cutting the U.S.-origin non-woven materials and fabric is not an acceptable assembly operation or operation incidental to assembly, but is a further fabrication of the non-woven materials and fabric. The cutting operation is not simply cutting a component to length but is similar to cutting fabric into a specific pattern shape. See, 19 CFR 10.14, example 4 (uncut textile fabrics exported in bolts from which wearing apparel components will be cut according to a pattern are not regarded as fabricated components) and 19 CFR 10.16(c)(2).

However, the metal buckle and rivets will be eligible for the duty allowance available under this tariff provision. The operations to be performed in Canada which result in securely joining components together by force fitting and riveting are considered acceptable assembly operations pursuant to 19 CFR 10.16(a). In the force fitting operation, the cut fabric is securely attached to the metal buckle by force fitting or crimping the fabric in place over the front of the buckle with the buckle's metal back.


From the information and sample presented, it is our opinion that imported belt may be entered under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, with an allowance in duty for the U.S.-origin buckle and rivets, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of 19 CFR 10.24.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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