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HQ 954731

August 19, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954731 jb


Andrew P. Vance, Esq.
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
475 Park Avenue South
New York, N.Y. 10016

RE: Modification of HQ 951541; Country of Origin determination for men's woven dress shirts; substantial transformation where assembly occurs; sub-assembly of minor parts does not confer country of origin

Dear Mr. Vance:

On July 30, 1992, we issued you Headquarters Ruling (HQ) 951541, which held that a determination on the country of origin for men's woven dress shirts was based on whether or not all of the sewing and assembly operations were performed in one country.

In a series of rulings regarding country of origin determinations for men's shirts (HQ 953638, 953639, 953640 and 953641), Customs had occasion to review this issue. This letter is to inform you that Customs has modified its view in regard to the above articles for the reasons stated therein. Attached you will find a copy of one of those rulings.

It is Customs opinion that a substantial transformation of a woven shirt (such as those at issue in the above cited rulings and at issue in HQ 951541) occurs at the time of assembly of all the component parts into the completed garment. Though a sub- assembly operation of a component such as a collar or cuff might take place in another country, it is considered only a minor part of the complete assembly of the garment and should not control the country of origin determination of the shirt. The assembly process, i.e., the time at which all the component parts, including the sub-assembled parts are sewn together, is viewed by Customs as a substantial assembly resulting in a completed garment.

Accordingly, if the specific factual situations as outlined in your original request have not changed, the country of origin of the articles in all three circumstances is China.

This modification is made pursuant to 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1) and is not retroactive in application. However HQ 951541 will not be valid for importations of the subject merchandise arriving in the United States after the date of this notice. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected (i.e., merchandise previously ordered and arriving in the United States subsequent to this modification will be classified accordingly). If it can be shown that you relied to your detriment, you may apply to this office for relief. However, you should be aware that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.


John Durant, Director

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