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HQ 952223

October 26, 1992

CLA CO:R:C:T 952223 jb


Mr. Alpha Chou
Ho Sing Clothing Co., Ltd.
7-1 FL.
695, Tung Hwa South Rd.
CTCI Tower
Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.

RE: Country of Origin determination for men's pants and shorts

Dear Mr. Chou:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of June 29, 1992, requesting a country of origin determination for a pair of men's pants and shorts. Samples were submitted to this office for examination.


The submitted samples consist of a pair of men's pants, Style number WR1711, and men's shorts, Style number WR717, together with one set of cut panels and accessories for the pants and shorts respectively, before assembly and sewing have been completed.

You state that the pants and shorts are designed and patterned using Taiwan materials, including shell fabric, pocketing and accessories. Sizing, marking and fabric cutting are also performed in Taiwan. All cut panels and accessories are then sent to the Philippines, or any other third country, for purposes of assembly, finishing, packing and direct shipping to the United States.


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


Section 12.130 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130) sets forth the principles of country of origin for textiles and textile products subject to Section 204 of the Agricultural Act of 1956, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1854).

Pursuant to 19 CFR 12.130(b), the standard of substantial transformation governs the country of origin determination where textiles and textile products are processed in more than one country. The country of origin of textile products is deemed to be that foreign territory or country where the article last underwent a substantial transformation. Substantial transformation is said to occur when the article has been transformed into a new and different article of commerce by means of substantial manufacturing or processing.

The factors to be applied in determining whether or not a manufacturing operation is substantial are set forth in 19 CFR 12.130(d). Section 12.130(e)(1) describes manufacturing or processing operations from which an article will usually be considered a product of the country in which those operations occurred. Section 12.130(e)(1)(iv) provides that an article or material usually will be a product of a particular foreign territory or country when there has been both a cutting of fabric into parts and the assembly of those parts into the completed article.

Section 12.130(e)(1)(v) states that an article will be a product of a particular foreign country, when it has undergone prior to importation into the U.S. in that foreign country:

Substantial assembly by sewing and/or tailoring of all cut pieces of apparel articles which have been cut from fabric in another foreign territory or country, or insular possession, into a completed garment (e.g., the complete assembly of all cut pieces of suit-type jackets, suits and shirts).

We have previously held that cutting of fabric into pattern pieces constitutes a substantial transformation of the fabric, resulting in the apparel pieces becoming a product of the country where the fabric is cut. Customs has also 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 HQ 082747, dated February 23, 1989; HQ 086665, dated March 23, 1990; HQ 951169, dated April 1, 1992; HQ 951437, dated July 17, 1992)

The sewing operation performed in the third country involves the simple assembly of several cut pattern pieces to form either the men's pants or shorts. The sewing does not involve the complex sewing operation contemplated by Section 12.130(e)(1)(v), as for example, that found in the assembly and tailoring of all cut pieces of suit-type jackets, suits and shirts.

The cutting in Taiwan materially changes the garment into designated garment parts. This constitutes a substantial transformation of that fabric.


The country or origin of the submitted merchandise, Style numbers WR1711 (men's pants) and WR1717 (men's shorts) is Taiwan. It is at the cutting process, in Taiwan, that the textile product undergoes a substantial transformation and is transformed into a new and different article of commerce.

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 of the information furnished in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

Should it be subsequently 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

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