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HQ 954436

October 14, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954436 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 6105.10.0010; 6110.20.2065

Mr. Michael Chunka
Miles & Joffrey
2225 Avenida Costa Este
Suite 1600
San Diego, CA 92173

RE: NYRL 881550; Country of origin determination of men's short sleeved polo shirts; substantial transformation; 19 CFR 12.130(e)(1)(iv); fabric is woven in China; fabric is cut by an electric cutting machine and assembled into polo shirts in Mexico; HRL 952046

Dear Mr. Chunka:

This is in response to your letter of June 16, 1993, on behalf of your client, Superior Garment Manufacturing Company, Ltd., concerning New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 881550, dated January 27, 1993, which dealt with the tariff classification and country of origin determination of men's knit garments. Your client is planning to modify certain production operations discussed in NYRL 881550 and would like to know whether these changes will affect the classification and country of origin of the men's knit garments as determined in NYRL 881550.


The garments at issue are two styles of men's polo shirts that have the following features: a rib knit spread collar; a partial front opening with a two button left over right placket; short sleeves with rib knit cuffs; embroidery on the left chest; and a hemmed bottom with side slits and a tail.

Style FKS-06 is made of 100% cotton, jersey knit fabric which measures 11 stitches in the horizontal direction and 14 stitches in the vertical direction per linear centimeter. Style FKS-07 is made of 100% cotton, pique knit fabric which measures 8 stitches in the horizontal direction and 12 stitches in the vertical direction per linear centimeter.

In your original submission, dated October 26, 1992, supplemented by your letters of December 18, 1992, and August 13, 1993, you stated that the pique or jersey knit body fabric and the rib knit fabric, which is used for the collar and the sleeve edges, will be imported in bolt form with no lines of demarcation from China and will be shipped in-bond through the U.S. to Tijuana, B.C., Mexico. In Mexico, the patterns for the shirts will be made, the fabric will be die-cut to form the garment pieces, and the pieces will be assembled by sewing. The garments will then be washed, pressed, labeled, folded and placed in plastic bags for shipping.

NYRL 881550 held that garment style FKS-06 was classified in subheading 6105.10.0010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), and style FKS-07 was classified in subheading 6110.20.2065, HTSUS. Moreover, this ruling held that the country of origin for the polo shirts was Mexico as that is where the fabric was cut to shape and the garment pieces were sewn together to form the polo shirts. These operations constituted a substantial manufacturing or processing operation as described in 19 CFR Section 12.130 (1)(e)(iv) and, therefore, resulted in a substantial transformation of the fabric.

The first modification that your client is proposing involves the cutting operation to be performed in Mexico. Instead of cutting the fabric with a die cutting machine, the fabric will be cut by an electric cutting machine, which cuts layers of fabric to a specific pattern utilizing a straight knife. The second modification involves the cessation of garment washing before pressing, labeling and folding the garment. The cutting and assembly operations will still be performed entirely in Mexico and all other procedures will remain the same as stated in your original submissions.


Does modifying the method of cutting the fabric change the classification and/or country of origin of polo shirts that are made from fabric imported in bolt form from China into Mexico, where the fabric is cut into garment patterns and then assembled by sewing?

Does omitting the washing cycle have any effect on the classification and/or country of origin of the subject polo shirts?



The modifications that you have submitted will have no effect on the HTSUS classifications of the subject polo shirts. Therefore, the polo shirts are classified in the subheadings specified in NYRL 881550.


Country of origin determinations for textile products are subject to Section 12.130 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130). Section 12.130(b) 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 or 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(e) of the Customs Regulations sets forth criteria which aid us in determining whether an article has been subjected to certain manufacturing or processing operations which serve to substantially transform an article into a new and different article of commerce. Specifically, Section 12.130(e)(1)(iv) is relevant in the instant case. This Section provides that:

An article or material usually will be a product of a particular foreign territory or country, or insular possession of the U.S., when it has undergone prior to importation into the U.S. in that foreign territory or country, or insular possession any of the following:

(iv) Cutting of fabric into parts and the assembly of those parts into the completed articles; or

We have previously held that cutting of fabric into pattern pieces and their assembly constitutes a substantial transformation of the fabric, resulting in the apparel pieces becoming a product of the country where the fabric is cut and assembled. See, HRL 952046, dated October 26, 1992, in which fabric is cut into pieces which are assembled to produce jeans in Mongolia. In China, the jeans are washed and packed before being sent to the U.S. The country of origin of the jeans was determined to be Mongolia pursuant to Section 12.130(e)(1)(iv).

In the instant case, the cutting and sewing operations will be performed in Mexico. The only modification involves the type of machine used to cut the fabric. We do not believe that changing the method used to cut the fabric changes the garments' country of origin. Therefore, as the operations performed in Mexico are considered substantial manufacturing operations, Mexico is the country of origin for these garments.

Moreover, the removal of the washing operation in the final finishing of the garment also does not affect the country of origin determination. Washing is considered to be merely an incidental finishing operation. Thus, the country of orign for the polo shirts is Mexico.


Style FSK-06 is classified in subheading 6105.10.0010, HTSUS, and style FKS-07 is classified in subheading 6110.20.2065, HTSUS.

The country of origin of the polo shirts is Mexico.

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
Commercial Rulings Division

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