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HQ 952577

February 1, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952577 CAB


Mr. Allan Gordon
Performance Trading Inc.
520 So. Lafayette Park Place
Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90057

RE: Country of Origin of Flat sheets, Fitted sheets, and Pillowcases

Dear Mr. Gordon:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of September 11, 1992, requesting a country of origin determination of flat sheets, fitted sheets, and pillowcases.


Bleached white and printed piece goods are sent from China to Mauritius. The merchandise is further manufactured as follows:

Flat Sheets

Mauritius - The piece goods will be cut and hemmed at the top and bottom, folded, labeled, packaged, and exported to the United States.


Mauritius - The piece goods will be cut to size on four sides, folded, sewn together on both sides, hemmed, and packaged for export to the United States.

Fitted Sheets

Mauritius - The piece goods will be cut and hemmed at the top and bottom. Elastic will be fitted and sewn along the four corners of the fabric.


What is the country of origin for the merchandise in question?


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 for determining whether a substantial transformation of a textile product has taken place. This regulation states 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), Customs Regulations, 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), Customs Regulations, states that for 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 of material

Section 12.130(e)(1)(iv), Customs Regulations, states that a textile article will usually be a product of a particular country if the cutting of the fabric into parts and the assembly of those parts in the completed article has occurred in that country. However, 12.130(e)(2)(ii) states that a material will usually not be considered to be a product of a particular foreign country by virtue of merely having undergone cutting to length or width and hemming or overlocking fabrics which are readily identifiable as being intended for a particular commercial use.

Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 952579 dated November 25, 1992, confronted the issue of where the last substantial transformation occurred when the processing of the flat sheets had occurred in three countries. Customs concluded that the last substantial transformation occurred in Country "A" where the fabric had been manufactured. And not in either Country "B" where the fabric was bleached and printed, or Country "X" where the fabric was brushed, shrunk, cut, and hemmed.

In HRL 086523 dated April 25, 1990, Customs determined that bed sheets made out of material woven, dyed and printed in Pakistan were considered to be products of Pakistan even though the material was cut to length and hemmed in Dubai. The processes performed in Dubai, i.e., cutting to length and hemming, did not constitute a substantial transformation.

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 12.130, it does not appear that any of the processing done to transform the piece goods into flat sheets in Mauritius amounted to a substantial transformation. This is in accord with the aforementioned Customs rulings.

The processing necessary to convert piece goods into fitted sheets is more complex than the processing required for flat sheets. The fabric must be cut at the corners and elastic is sewn into it so that the corners will fit over a mattress. This requires additional cutting and stitching which is more complex than merely sewing a straight hem. Thus, the piece goods made into fitted sheets are substantially transformed in Mauritius.

When determining the country of origin for pillowcases, Customs refers to Belcrest Linens v. United States, (741 F.2d 1368, Fed. Cir. 1984). The court held that a bolt of woven fabric that was manufactured, stenciled with an embroidery design, and imprinted with lines of demarcation in China prior to being sent to Hong Kong where the fabric was cut, sewn into pillowcases, and packaged was subjected to its last substantial transformation in Hong Kong. Therefore, when applying the court's rationale to the instant case, it appears that the piece goods that are cut and sewn into pillow cases in Mauritius have undergone a substantial transformation.


Based on the foregoing, the country of origin of the flat sheets is China. The country of origin of the fitted sheets and the pillowcases is Mauritius.

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 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 A. Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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