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HQ 955087

December 22, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955087 ch


Diane L. Weinberg, Esq.
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
505 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10022-1106

RE: Country of origin under 19 CFR 12.130 for certain textile travel bags and backpacks.

Dear Ms. Weinberg:

This is in response to your letter of September 17, 1993, on behalf of Jong Lih Plastic Enterprise Co., Ltd., requesting a country of origin determination for certain textile travel bags.


The submitted samples are two textile travel bags, styles 204204 and 204205, and a textile backpack, style 204203. They are primarily composed of a heavy duty 420 denier nylon fabric and are lined with a 210 denier nylon fabric.

The containers are comprised of components which are manufactured in Taiwan. These materials include yarn that is spun from filaments and woven into fabric. The resulting fabric is dyed and finished and then cut to shape for use as panels, pockets and straps. All other components used to manufacture the bags, including rivets, threads, velcro, plastic hooks, nylon net, paperboard, zippers, cords, padding, labels and webbing, are produced in Taiwan. Some of the materials will be printed and embroidered with logos prior to exportation. In China, the components will be assembled by sewing and riveting operations and the finished articles are then packaged.

You have submitted time and cost calculations for style 204204 indicating that the time required to fabricate and finish the materials in Taiwan is approximately 86.5 minutes, while the cost of these operations is $5.93. In addition, the assembly and packing operations taking place in China require approximately 62 minutes, at a cost of $1.35. This time and cost estimate is said to be roughly representative of the remaining styles as well.


What is the country of origin for the subject merchandise?


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 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 or
(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 as a result of the manufacturing or processing operations in each foreign territory or country, or insular possession of the United States.

(ii) The time involved in the manufacturing or processing operations in each foreign territory or country, or insular possession of the United States.

(iii) The complexity of the manufacturing or processing operations in each foreign territory or country, or insular possession of the United States.

(iv) The level or degree of skill and/or technology required in the manufacturing or processing operations in each foreign territory or country, or insular possession of the United States.

(v) The value added to the article or material in each foreign territory or country, or insular possession of the United States, compared to its value when imported into the United States.

In this instance, the major operations of spinning the nylon filaments into yarn, weaving the yarn into fabric, cutting the fabric to shape and fabricating the remaining components are performed in Taiwan. These operations convert raw materials into component parts dedicated for use in the finished containers. The labor and material costs incurred in Taiwan are significantly greater than those incurred in China. The time necessary to perform the operations in Taiwan exceed that needed in China.

In addition, Subsection 12.130(e)(2) states in part that an article usually will not be considered to be a product of a particular foreign country by virtue of merely having undergone:

(i) Simple combining operations, labeling, pressing, cleaning or dry cleaning, or packaging operations, or any combinations thereof;

(ii) Trimming and/or joining together by sewing, looping, linking, or other means of attaching otherwise completed knit-to-shape component parts produced in a single country, even when accompanied by other processes (e.g. washing, drying, mending, etc.) normally incident to the assembly process.

The operations performed in China in this case appear to be the simple assembly, combining and packaging operations identified in Subsection 12.130(e)(2). Therefore, these activities are not substantial operations which would transform the articles into textile goods originating in China.

Finally, our prior country of origin determinations for containers similar to the instant merchandise support the conclusion that these goods originate in Taiwan. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 954225, dated August 30, 1993 (Textile tote bags and luggage manufactured and cut into panels in Taiwan which are assembled in China are goods originating in Taiwan); HRL 952642, dated May 10, 1993, (Sports bags, knapsacks, insulated lunch bags manufactured and cut to size in Taiwan and assembled/packed in China are goods originating in Taiwan); HRL 953065, dated April 9, 1993 (Bicycle bags consisting of components originating and cut to shape in Taiwan, assembled by simple sewing operations in China, are goods originating in Taiwan); HRL 951899, dated October 31, 1992 (Tote bags and luggage with components fabricated and cut to shape in Taiwan, stitched and assembled in China, originate in Taiwan); HRL 088455, dated March 8, 1991 (Nylon backpack comprised of components originating and cut to shape in Taiwan, assembled by simple sewing and packaging operations in Indonesia, are products of Taiwan).

Based on the foregoing, we conclude that the operations performed in China do not result in a substantial transformation. Accordingly, the country of origin of the instant tote bags and backpack is Taiwan.


The country of origin of the subject merchandise is Taiwan.

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)), which 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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