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HQ 952081

October 8, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952081 CAB


Andrew P. Vance, Esquire
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
475 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016

RE: Country of origin of women's pajamas

Dear Mr. Vance:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of June 25, 1992, on behalf of Val Mode Lingerie, Inc., requesting a country of origin determination of women's pajamas. A sample has been submitted for examination.


The garment at issue, Style 3512, is a pair of woven women's polyester pajamas. Woven polyester fabric purchased in Korea will be shipped to Hong Kong. In Hong Kong the fabric will be marked and cut. After the processing is completed in Hong Kong, the fabric pieces and accessories will be shipped to China for assembly, sewing, and finishing. The finished goods will then be shipped to Hong Kong for export to the United States.


What is the country of origin of the garment at issue?


Country of origin determinations for textile products are subject to Section 12.130, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130). Section 12.130 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. A textile product will be considered to have undergone a substantial transformation if it has been transformed by means of substantial manufacturing or processing operations into a new and different article of commerce.

Section 12.130(d), Customs Regulations, sets forth criteria in determining whether a substantial transformation of a textile product has taken place. This regulation states that these criteria are not exhaustive; one or any combination of criteria may be determinative, and additional factors may be considered.

Section 12.130(d)(1) states that a new and different article of commerce will usually result from a manufacturing or processing operation if there is a change in:

(i) Commercial designation or identity, (ii) fundamental character or (iii) Commercial use.

Section 12.130(d)(2) of the Customs Regulations states that in determining whether merchandise has been subjected to substantial manufacturing or processing operations, the following will be considered.

(i) The physical change in the material or article

(ii) The time involved in the manufacturing or processing

(iii) The complexity of the manufacturing or processing

(iv) The level or degree of skill

(v) The value added to the article or material

According to T.D. 85-38, the final document rule establishing 19 CFR 12.130:

The assembly of all the cut pieces of a garment usually is a substantial manufacturing process that results in an article with a different name, character, or use than the cut pieces. It should be noted that not all assembly operations of cut garment pieces will amount to a substantial transformation of those pieces. Where either less than a complete assembly of all the cut pieces of a garment is performed in one country, or the assembly is a relatively simple one, then Customs will rule on the particular factual situation as they arise, utilizing the criteria in section 12.130(d).

Customs has consistently ruled 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) 951424 of April 24, 1992 and HRL 082787 of March 9, 1989.

The issue in this instance is similar to the question Customs confronted in HRL 951424. In HRL 951424 Customs determined the country of origin of men's shirts that had been processed in more than one country. The shirts were marked and cut in Singapore, and then sent to Malaysia for simple assembly. Customs decided that the final substantial transformation occurred in Singapore because the cutting process materially altered the fabric into designated parts. In this case, the garment at issue is marked and cut in Hong Kong, and is then sent to China for assembly into a finished product. This final operation involves no more than minor processing and finishing. The processing in China does not materially alter the garment at issue. However, the marking and sewing operation performed in Hong Kong substantially transforms the garment into designated garment pieces. Consequently, the country of origin of the merchandise at issue is Hong Kong.


The country of origin of the merchandise at issue is Hong Kong. As requested, your sample will be returned under separate cover.

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.(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 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 effect 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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