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HQ 555875

MAY 03, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:S 555875 RA


TARIFF NO.: 6209.20.20; 9811.00.60

Ms. Valerie Caulfield
Vice President
Freight Brokers International Inc.
1200 Brunswick Avenue
Far Rockaway, New York 11691

RE: Applicability of duty exemption under subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS, for miniature dress shirts to be used as samples; textile sample guidelines; marking; quota; 732082

Dear Ms. Caulfield:

This is in response to your letter of January 31, 1991, requesting a ruling on behalf of Publix Shirt Co. LP, concerning the eligibility for free entry under subheading 9811.00.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of certain miniature dress shirts imported for use as samples. You also ask whether the shirts would be subject to quota restrictions and country of origin marking requirements. A sample shirt was submitted for examination.


You state that miniature 100% cotton dress shirts manufactured in Malaysia or some other Far Eastern country will be imported solely for use by salesmen to solicit orders for foreign merchandise. According to your letter, the shirts are not sized for human use and are not dolls' clothing.


1. Whether the miniature dress shirts are entitled to duty- free treatment under subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS, as samples for taking orders for foreign-made merchandise.

2. Whether the miniature shirts are subject to quota restraint levels and country of origin marking requirements.


Subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS, provides for the free entry of any sample valued not over $1.00 each, or marked, torn, perforated, or otherwise treated so that it is unsuitable for sale or for use otherwise than as a sample, to be used in the U.S. only for soliciting orders for foreign-made products. Guidelines regarding the manner in which textile samples should be marked or otherwise treated to render them eligible for duty- free treatment under this tariff provision are set forth in the interim update of Customs Directive 3500-07 dated January 4, 1989 (copy enclosed). The guidelines provide that wearing apparel samples must either be (1) mutilated by cutting or tearing a section from, or punching a hole into, the garment, or (2) indelibly marked with the word "SAMPLE" in a prominent and visible area.

The sample miniature shirt submitted with your letter has neither been mutilated nor marked as required by Directive 3500- 07. In the absence of a showing that the above guidelines have been satisfied, duty-free treatment under subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS, cannot be authorized.

Miniature cotton dress shirts intended for infants 2 years of age or under and which have not been treated according to the textile sample guidelines would be classifiable in subheading 6209.20.20, HTSUS, which provides for babies' garments of cotton, blouses and shirts, dutiable at the rate of 16.5% ad valorem. The textile quota category number is 239. Textile samples which conform to the textile sample guidelines and are classified in subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS, are not subject to quota restraint levels.

Section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides, in general, that all articles of foreign origin imported into the U.S. must be legibly, conspicuously and permanently marked to indicate the English name of the country of origin to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S. There are, however, certain exceptions to the general rule. One such exception is 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(F) which provides that articles imported for use by the importer and not intended for sale in their imported or any other form need not be marked. In Headquarters Ruling Letter 732082 dated March 14, 1989 (copy enclosed), we held that imported articles that are to be used by the importer only as samples to solicit orders of merchandise and are not otherwise for sale or distribution, may be excepted from marking under 19

However, in regard to the miniature dress shirts under consideration here, as they do not conform to the textile sample guidelines set forth in Directive 3500-07 and, therefore, are not entitled to classification in subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS, it is our opinion that the merchandise does not fall within the 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3)(F) exception and must be properly marked to indicate its country of origin.


Based upon an examination of the sample submitted, as the miniature cotton dress shirt does not conform to the textile sample guidelines set forth in Customs Directive 3500-07, it is not entitled to duty-free treatment under subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS. Under these circumstances, the article is classifiable in subheading 6209.20.20, which provides for a duty rate of 16.5% ad valorem, is subject to applicable quota restrictions, and must be marked to indicate its country of origin.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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