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 > 1993 HQ Rulings > HQ 0950721 - HQ 0950873 > HQ 0950849

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 950849

March 24, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950849 HP


Mr. Edward T. Strain
Tego Limited
5959 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Suite 380
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

RE: Country of origin of babies' diapers.

Dear Mr. Strain:

This is in reply to your letter of December 5, 1991. That letter concerned the country of origin determination of diapers, produced in China or Mexico.


The merchandise at issue is the same, but for one difference described below, as described in HRLs 086549, 086779, and 087585, all addressed to you. In HRL 086779 of April 25, 1990, the merchandise was described as follows:

The merchandise at issue consists of 100% cotton babies' diapers.
The following tables describe the manufacturing processes.

China Production Steps

1. 100% cotton cloth is woven.
2. The cloth is shipped to Canada (Now Mexico) on large rolls (Now in Bales).

Canada (NOW Mexico) Production Steps

1. Two layers of fabric are placed onto the cutting table. 2. The fabric is cut to size (24" wide x 16" long). 3. The sides of the two layers of fabric are folded over (left: 4" right: 8").
4. The center panels are sewn using a straight sewing machine. 5. The sewn fabric is taken to a serging machine, where the top and bottom edges are trimmed and overedged.

6. The threads from all edges are trimmed, as a trailer thread of at least 1/2" is required.
7. The diaper is inspected.
8. The completed merchandise is packaged into cartons and shipped.

As stated above, Country 2 is now Mexico, and the cotton is exported from China in bales, rather than in rolls.


Whether the processes taking place in Canada are sufficient to change the country of origin for quota/visa purposes from China?


Textile commodities produced in more than one foreign country are subject to the country of origin requirements delin- eated in section 12.130 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 12.130). These regulations provide that:

... a textile product ... which consists of materials produced or derived from, or processed in, more than one foreign ... country shall be a product of that foreign ... country where it last underwent a substantial transformation.

12.130(b). A textile product undergoes a substantial transformation when it is ~... transformed by means of substantial manufacturing or processing operations into a new and different article of commerce."

Section 12.130 of the regulations outlines the criteria used to determine the country of origin for textiles and textile prod- ucts. Specifically, this provision of the regulations is considered in determining whether a textile product has undergone substantial manufacturing or processing operations, and what con- stitutes a new and different article of commerce. The factors considered are not exhaustive. In fact, ~one or any combination of criteria may be determinative, and additional factors may be considered."

In determining whether merchandise has undergone substantial manufacturing or processing operations, we consider the (1) physical change in the material or the article; (2) time involved; (3) complexity of the operations; (4) level or degree of skill and/or technology required; and (5) value added to the article in each country.

Section 12.130(e)(2) states that

[a]n article or material usually will not be considered to be a product of a particular foreign territory or country, ... by virtue of merely having undergone any of the following:

(ii) Cutting to length or width and hemming or over- locking fabrics which are readily identifiable as being intended for a particular commercial use.... [Emphasis added.]

It is clear that this provision does not disqualify the diapers from consideration as products of Mexico. Upon exportation from China, the merchandise is mere cotton fabric, suitable for multiple uses. There is no evidence, i.e., lines of demarcation, that would aid the examiner in determining that the fabric is meant to be diapers.

Since there exist no provisions which specifically eliminate the instant manufacturing processes from consideration, it is our opinion that the merchandise has undergone a substantial trans- formation in Mexico. The merchandise changes from cotton fabric to children's diapers as a result of Country 2's complex manufacturing operations. Following the rules of origin stated above, therefore, Country 2 is considered the country of origin for quota/visa purposes. See also HRL 086665 of March 23, 1990.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is considered to be a product of Mexico for quota/visa purposes.

The holding in this ruling applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in 177.9(b)(1), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177.9(b)(1)). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in connection with the ruling request and incorporated in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect. Should it subsequently be determined that the information furnished is not complete and does not comply with 19 C.F.R. 177.9(b)(1), the ruling will be subject to modification or revocation. In the event there is a change in the facts previously furnished, this may affect the determination of country of origin. In such a case, it is recommended that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with 177.2, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177.2).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling