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HQ 951436

July 17, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 951436 SK


Judith A. Schechter
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th Street
New York, N.Y.

RE: Country of origin of women's 100% rayon pants; fabric woven and printed or dyed in Taiwan; fabric cut into component pieces in Singapore; assembly by sewing in Malaysia; packaging in Singapore; 19 CFR 12.130; mere assembly not substantial transformation.

Dear Ms. Schechter:

This is in response to your letter of March 27, 1992, on behalf of your client, Orit Imports, Inc., requesting the country of origin of women's pants. A sample of the completed article, as well as samples of its constituent parts, have been submitted for our examination.


The article at issue is identified as Style 2305 ("Missy Pant") and is comprised of 100% rayon. The pants feature a wide elasticized waistband which is shirred along the garment's back and sides. The garment also features two side pockets. The bottoms of the pant legs are hemmed but not elasticized. The pants resemble sweat pants in both appearance and fit.

The fabric for these garments will be woven and printed or dyed in Taiwan, with no lines of demarcation. The fabric will be sent to Singapore where it will be cut into garment components. The components and trim (i.e., labels) will be sent to Malaysia for assembly by sewing. The finished garments will be returned to Singapore for packaging and export to the United States.

The relative costs of various production operations for style 2305 are as follows:

Piece Goods (Taiwan) 64%

Cutting (Singapore) 5%
Sewing (Malaysia) 15%
Packing (Singapore) 5%
Accessories (Taiwan) 8%
Profit (Singapore) 3%


What is the country of origin of the subject merchandise?


Section 12.130(b) of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130(b)) provides that a textile product that is processed in more than one country or territory shall be a product of that country or territory where it last underwent a substantial transformation. Your attention is directed to Section 12.130(e)(v) of the Customs Regulations which states that an article will usually have undergone a substantial transformation (change in country of origin) if it has undergone a substantial assembly of all cut pieces into a completed garment.

Customs has long held that the mere assembly of goods, entailing simple combining operations, trimming or joining together by sewing, is not enough to substantially transform the components of an article into a new and different article of commerce. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 082747, dated February 23, 1989, in which Customs determined that the assembly of jeans was not a substantial transformation and HRL 082787, dated March 9, 1989, which reached a similar conclusion with regard to a jogging suit.

The assembly process in Malaysia involving the sewing together of components cut from fabric in Singapore does not involve sufficient skill or complexity to constitute a substantial transformation as defined by the regulations set forth supra. The country of origin of these articles is Singapore as that is where the piece goods were cut into specific parts and where the articles last underwent a substantial transformation.


The country of origin of the subject merchandise is Singapore.

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific
factual situation and merchandise identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in section 177.9(b)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all 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 CFR 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. Accordingly, it is recommended that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with section 177.2, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.2).


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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