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NY 889023

September 9, 1993



TARIFF NO.: 4202.12.8070

Mr. Jeffrey H. Pfeffer, ESQ
Fritz Companies, Inc.
40 Exchange Place - 12th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10005

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin of unfinished luggage from the Dominican Republic.

Dear Mr. Pfeffer:

In your letters dated May 17, 1993 and August 5, 1993, you requested a tariff classification and country of origin ruling for an unfinished luggage article identified as style 7470 which is part of a product line known as "Rollerboard". Your request is on behalf of Eiffel Design.

You have submitted a sample of a completed pullman style suitcase which measures approximately 22" x 13" x 6" and is manufactured of man-made textile materials with vinyl trim. The unfinished bag is said to be assembled in the Dominican Republic of pre-cut to shape and fabricated United States components. Although you have not submitted a sample of the bag in the condition as imported into the United States, you have submitted samples of the unassembled United States components. These appear to include all man-made fabric and vinyl trim pieces, wire stiffener, piping, finished straps with clasps, fabricated handles with hardware affixed and a fabric label. These components are assembled in the Dominican Republic into an unfinished article substantially dedicated to be an unfinished suitcase.

You have also indicated that the unfinished suitcase will be finished in the United States by the incorporation of a device, identified as United States Patent 4,995,487, which is a system of roller wheels within a specially shaped housing, a metal valance frame, a retractable handle and the assorted hardware necessary to assemble and affix the device into the bag. Your letter of May 17 has stated that the initial production of the patented device will utilize Taiwan hardware and that future production will incorporate United States produced components. The final product is a suitcase which can be carried in the hand or wheeled along by the traveler.

Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant Section or Chapter Notes." Merchandise which cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

GRI 2(a) provides the following:

Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. It shall also be taken to include a reference to that article complete or finished (or falling to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule), entered unassembled or disassembled.

Heading 4202 provides, in part, for luggage including suitcases. In this instance the unfinished suitcase as imported from the Dominican Republic has the essential character of unfinished luggage.

The applicable subheading for the unfinished article number 7470 will be 4202.12.8070, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Trunks, suitcases... and similar containers, with outer surface of plastics or of textile materials, with outer surface of textile materials, other, other, of man-made fibers". The duty rate will be 20 percent ad valorem.

Subheading 9802.00.80 provides a partial duty exemption for articles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, the product of the United States, which were exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, have not lost their physical identity and have not been advanced in value or improved in condition abroad except by being assembled and except by operations incidental to the assembly process.

Based upon the information supplied, the United States supplied components, exported to the Dominican Republic, appear to be eligible for treatment within tariff item number 9802.00.80, provided all applicable requirements are met.

You also request a ruling on the country of origin marking requirements. Products which are manufactured in the Dominican Republic from materials produced in the United States are considered to be products of the Dominican Republic for marking purposes. The suitcase may be marked with a sewn in tag which reads:

Suitcase assembled in the Dominican Republic of United States components.
Patented retractable handle and wheels assembled in the United States of Taiwan components"

The reference to Taiwan components may be amended at such time that United States components are utilized.

Tariff Number 4202.12.8070 falls within textile category designation 670. Based upon international textile trade agreements, products of the Dominican Republic are subject to Visa restrictions.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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