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HQ 953630

May 27, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953630 SK


David Hu
Shen Huei International Corp.
No. 22 Al Kuo E. Rd. - 14th floor
Taipei, Taiwan
Republic of China

RE: Country of origin determination for flat sheets; Section 12.130 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130); bleaching, cutting and hemming do not constitute a substantial manufacturing operation; no substantial transformation in Taiwan; country of origin is the Philippines.

Dear Mr. Hu:

This is in reply to your letter of March 16, 1993, in which you request a country of origin determination for flat sheets. A sample was submitted for examination.


The woven flat sheet at issue is constructed from a fibre blend of 55 percent cotton/ 45 percent polyester. The fabric is woven in the Philippines and then sent to Taiwan where it is bleached, cut, hemmed and packaged for final destination in the United States.

The sample you submitted has selvaged edges which indicates that it was only cut to length in Taiwan and that it was already in sheet width at the time of its export from the Philippines.


Country of origin determinations are made pursuant to Section 12.130 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130). Section 12.130(b) of the Customs Regulations 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) of the 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;
(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 and/or technology required in the manufacturing or processing operations;
(v) The value added to the article or material; [emphasis added]

Section 12.130(e)(1) provides that an article or material usually will be a product of a particular foreign territory or country, or insular possession of the United States, when, prior to importation into the United States, it has undergone in that foreign territory or country or insular possession, any of the following:

(i) Dyeing of fabric and printing when accompanied by two or more of the following finishing operations: bleaching, shrinking, fulling, napping, decating, permanent stiffening, weighting, permanent embossing, or moireing;
(ii) Spinning fibers into yarn;
(iii) Weaving, knitting or otherwise forming fabric; (iv) Cutting of fabric into parts and the assembly of those parts into the completed article; or

(v) substantial assembly by sewing and/or tailoring of all cut pieces ...
[emphasis added]

Conversely, Section 12.130(e)(2) provides that, "[A]n article or material usually will not be considered to be a product of a particular foreign territory or country, or insular possession of the U.S. by virtue of merely having undergone any of the following:

(i) Simple combining operations, labeling, pressing, cleaning or dry cleaning, or packaging operations, or any combination thereof;
(ii) Cutting to length or width and hemming or overlocking fabrics which are readily identifiable as being intended for a particular commercial use; (iii) Trimming and/or joining together by sewing, looping, linking, or other means of attaching otherwise completed knit-to-shape component parts even when accompanied by other processes (washing, drying, mending, etc.) normally incident to the assembly process.
(iv) One or more finishing operations on yarns, fabrics, or other textile articles, such as showerproofing, superwashing, bleaching, decating, fulling, shrinking, mercerizing, or similar operations; or
(v) Dyeing and/or printing of fabrics or yarns. [emphasis added]

In the instant case, the flat sheet undergoes bleaching, cutting to length, hemming and packaging in Taiwan. These operations do not constitute a substantial manufacturing process by mandate of Section 12.130(e). The mere cutting to length of fabric is not a substantial manufacturing process by mandate of Section 12.130(e)(2)(ii). Similarly, packaging is not a substantial process. See Section 12.130(e)(2)(i). The bleaching of fabric, cutting in a single direction, hemming on two sides and packaging do not impart the requisite complexity necessary for purposes of conferring country of origin. Accordingly, as per Section 12.130(1)(iii), the country of origin of the article at issue is where the fabric was woven: the Philippines.


The flat sheet is a product of the Philippines.

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 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 Durant, Director

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