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HQ 559079

July 7, 1995

CLA-2-05 R:C:S 559079 KR


TARIFF NO.: 9811.00.60

Mr. Frank A. Peck nulook fashions, inc.
5080 Sinclair Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43229

RE: Applicability of subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS, to sample fabric pieces

Dear Mr. Peck:

This is in reference to your letter dated March 6, 1994, concerning the applicability of subheading 9811.00.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) to fabric swatches you propose to import as samples representing material which may be chosen for use in creating men's garments. You have submitted several samples of fabric swatches for our review.


You state that you intend to import fabric swatches which are left-over or rejected juring the manufacturing process. The swatches will measure 2"x 3" and 7«" x 7«". The fabric will be manufactured in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Italy or the U.S. The fabric will be cut into swatches in China. The purpose of the swatches is to demonstrate the available fabrics which may be used to create men's garments which are made in China. The 2"x 3" swatches will be mounted in a catalog and the 7«" x 7«" swatches will be mounted on a hanger. The fabric swatches will be packaged in polybags of 100 on which there will appear an adhesive label that indicates the item number, quantity, color, and the country of origin. You state that the statement, "Mutilated Samples - HTSUS 9811.00.60", will be typed on the invoice and the mail declaration. You believe these qualify to receive duty-free treatment pursuant to HTSUS 9811.00.60.


Whether the imported fabric pieces are eligible for duty-free treatment under subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS.


Subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS, provides for the free entry of articles used in the U.S. as samples only to solicit orders for products of foreign countries, provided they are valued not over $1.00 each, or are marked, torn, perforated or otherwise treated so as to render them unsuitable for sale or for use otherwise than as samples. See HQ 558973 (March 30, 1995); HQ 556138 (November 18, 1991); HQ 557013 (March 19, 1993).

With regard to those samples which are valued over $1.00, the issue is the nature of the mark, tear, perforation, or other treatment which will comply with the statute. To meet the requirements of the statute, the mark, tear, perforation, or other treatment must alter items and make them unsuitable for commercial sale, while at the same time, preserve their usefulness as samples.

Guidelines regarding the manner in which textile samples should be marked or otherwise treated to render them eligible for duty-free treatment under subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS, are set forth in the telex (Interim Update to Customs Directive 3500-07), dated February 11, 1987. The guidelines provide that for fabric swatches:

A) A section or hole may be cut in the main body of the fabric swatch. The size of the section or hole should be approximately 1 inch in diameter.

NOTE: The cut size may be sufficient to be considered a sample. Therefore, not requiring a section or hole to be cut in the fabric swatch. However, the facts of the importation should be considered, particularly the end use, which may lead to the determination that the swatches can be used in the condition imported and thus are not samples. The maximum size for a fabric swatch which need not be cut or marked is 8 inches by 8 inches. Any size larger must be cut or marked.

B) The fabric swatch may be marked with the word "SAMPLE" in indelible ink or paint. The size of the word "SAMPLE" should be at least 1 inch in height and at least 2 inches in length and in a contrasting color to the swatch.

The fabric swatches and brochure you submitted appear to satisfy the guidelines for the proper marking of fabrics swatches which is set forth in the telex of February 11, 1987. The fabric pieces which you intend to import do not exceed 8 inches in length and width and are clearly only for demonstrating the fabrics available for which apparel may be made. Therefore, pursuant to the guidelines of the telex or February 11, 1987, and the circumstances of the importation, the fabric swatches need not have a hole or cut nor have the word "Sample" stamped in indelible ink. Since the fabric swatches otherwise meet the criteria of 9811.00.60, i.e., they will be used only for the soliciting of orders for garments made of these type fabrics, they will be eligible for duty-free entry under subheading 9811.00.60.


Based on the information submitted, the imported fabric swatches meet the guidelines set forth in the telex of February 11, 1987. Therefore, the fabric swatches are eligible for duty-free treatment under subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS, when imported into the U.S.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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