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HQ 953078

January 25, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953078 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6209.20.5040

Mr. Philip D. Anderson
Empire Trading Company Ltd.
6489 Rinings Road
Syracuse, NY 13206

RE: Country of origin of diapers.

Dear Mr. Anderson:

This is in reply to your letter of December 14, 1992. That letter concerned the tariff classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of diapers, produced in China and Jamaica. In addition, you requested a country of origin determination of those diapers.


The merchandise at issue consists of 12 inches x 16 inches and 14 inches x 21 inches infants 100% gauze cotton woven diapers, constructed by Meigao Jamaica Company Ltd.. The diapers are known as 4-6-4, whereas they are six layers in the middle and four layers on the sides. They are hemmed and bartacked.

You describe the manufacturing process as follows:

100% cotton fabric, single ply (with no lines of demarcation) in roll form would be imported into Jamaica from a third country, usually China, India or Pakistan, or fabric would be bought from Jamaica.

Details of the diaper manufacturing process

- Cloth is received in 900 foot bales by various widths of 30 to 59 inches.

- Cloth is laid out on a 48 foot long table, straightened and flattened out.

- A pattern, depending on the size and construction of diapers is placed on the cloth and outlined in washable marking pen. It is then cut lengthwise.

- Two layers of cloth are used per diaper.

- A bundle of 10 dozen double pieces of cloth are rolled up and delivered to a storage shelf for distribution to sewing station operators who fold the cloth into shape and sew the two center panel stitches only.

- Goods are then looked at by a Q.C. inspector, moved to the Chief inspectors section and after approval they are delivered to a second sewing station which trims and hems the top and bottom.

- Goods are inspected again. If approved they are moved to a third sewing station for bar tacking of all four corners.

- Goods are then moved to trimming and final inspection.

- The diapers are now moved to another section for folding and packaging in one dozen lots. They are then moved to a pressing machine for packing in 50 dozen bundles.


How are the diapers correctly classified under the HTSUSA? What is the diapers~ country of origin for quota, visa and marking purposes?



The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part, that such "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings . . . ." Heading 6209, HTSUSA, provides for babies~ woven garments and clothing accessories. The diapers at issue are appropriately classified herein.

Country of Origin

In your submission, you stated that the cloth from which the diapers are to be manufactured from may be woven in Jamaica. If this is the case, and the diapers are constructed in Jamaica from Jamaican cloth, the country of origin is clearly Jamaica. Assuming, however, that the cloth will be imported into Jamaica from a third country, the following analysis is applicable.

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.

Customs has long held that producing diapers from plain cotton fabric suitable for multiple uses is considered a substantial transformation when the manufacturing and processing operations include, inter alia, cutting to length and width, complex folding to create the diaper~s unique multi-layer middle portion, hemming and/or overlocking the edges, and finishing and packaging. HRL 086665 of March 23, 1990; HRL 086779 of April 25, 1990; HRL 087585 of August 13, 1990; HRL 088395 of April 1, 1991 (rev~d on other grounds); HRL 950849 of March 24, 1992. This is true even where the fabric is cut only to length. HRL 087138 of June 5, 1990; HRL 087949 of January 8, 1991. Contra HRL 088321 of March 7, 1991 (mere cutting of fabric into squares and hemming insufficient to constitute substantial manufacturing process). Since your manufacturing process conforms to the above listing, and since the cloth as it is imported into Jamaica contains no folding lines or lines of demarcation formed by any means (e.g., by a change in the weaving process or by imprinting), it is our opinion that the Meigao manufacturing operations performed in Jamaica substantially transform the third country fabric into Jamaican diapers.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified as woven cotton diapers of Jamaica, classified under subheading 6209.20.5040, HTSUSA, textile category 239.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent negotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

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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