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HQ 952486

January 25, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952486 HP


Mr. Satish Dayal
Belgik Trading Co. Ltd.
P.O. Box 2567
New York, N.Y. 10185-0022

RE: Country of origin of flat and fitted bed sheets, and pillow cases.

Dear Mr. Dayal:

This is in reply to your letter of July 17, 1992. That letter concerned the country of origin determination of bed linen. Your additional question as to fiber content / country of origin marking will be addressed in a separate letter. If you are interested in a ruling on potential duty reduction under the United States - Israel Free Trade Agreement, please write to the Chief, Special Classification Branch, U.S. Customs Service, Office of Regulations & Rulings, Franklin Court, Washington, D.C. 20229.


The merchandise at issue consists of woven, printed fabric in either 100% cotton, 55% cotton / 45% polyester, or 50% cotton / 50% polyester, to be manufactured in India. The fabric is then shipped to Israel for cutting, sewing, stitching and finishing. The resulting set of a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and two pillowcases is then packed and shipped to the United States.


What is the country of origin of the merchandise at issue for quota/visa purposes?


Textile commodities produced in more than one foreign country are subject to the country of origin requirements delineated 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 products. Specifically, this provision of the regulations is considered in determining whether a textile product has undergone substantial manufacturing or processing operations, and what constitutes 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.

The cutting and sewing of the fabric to make the flat bed sheets are not complex operations and do not require a high degree of skill or technology. This conclusion is consistent with prior rulings concerning the country of origin of bed sheets. (See, e.g., HRL 089230 and HRL 086523 of April 25, 1990.) Consequently, the flat bed sheet is not substantially transformed in Israel, and the country of origin for this article is India, the country in which the fabric is formed.

The fitted bed sheet undergoes additional processing following the cutting of the fabric to size and pattern in that it must be cut at the corners and elastic must be sewn into the article so that the corners will fit securely over a mattress. These processes take more time and skill, and are more complex, then cutting and hemming in straight lines used in making flat bed sheets. Therefore, consistent with HRL 733180 of December 13, 1990, we conclude that the fitted sheet undergoes substantial manufacturing and processing operations in Israel. Consequently, the country of origin of this article is Israel.

In Belcrest Linens v. United States, 741 F.2d 1368 (1984), the court ruled on the country of origin of certain pillow cases. In that case bolts of fabric were woven in China and stenciled with an embroidery design, cutting marks, and a scalloped edge, and embroidered on the embroidery design. The fabric was shipped to Hong Kong where it was cut, pieces were scalloped and then sewn with decorative stitching, and the sides were sewn together. The court held that these pillow cases were substantially transformed in Hong Kong and therefore were products of Hong Kong for country of origin purposes. In addition, in HRL 086523 a pillow case made from fabric formed in one country and sent to a second country for cutting and hemming to produce the finished merchandise was found to be a product of the second country for country of origin purposes. Therefore, consistent with the Belcrest Linens decision and HRL 086523, the pillow cases at issue have been substantially transformed in Israel and are products of Israel for country of origin purposes.


As a result of the foregoing, the country of origin for quota/visa purposes for the flat sheet is India. The country of origin of the fitted sheets and the pillow cases is Israel.

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

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