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HQ 954839

August 19, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954839 jb


Mr. George Wu
HLL-Chiang Garments MFG. Co., Ltd.
15th Floor No.248
Nanking East Road, Sec. 3
Taipei, Taiwan
Republic of China

RE: Modification of HQ 734489; Country of Origin determination for men's woven dress shirts; substantial transformation where assembly occurs; sub-assembly of minor parts does not confer country of origin

Dear Mr. Wu:

On August 4, 1992, we issued you Headquarters Ruling (HQ) 734489, which held that a determination on the country of origin for men's woven dress shirts was based on whether or not all of the sewing and assembly operations were performed in one country as well as the complexity of the sewing operations. Though your original request concerned both men's long and short sleeve dress shirts, this modification will only address itself to the long sleeve shirts.

In a series of rulings regarding country of origin determinations for men's shirts (HQ 953638, 953639, 953640 and 953641), Customs had occasion to review this issue. This letter is to inform you that Customs has modified its view in regard to the above articles for the reasons stated therein. Attached you will find a copy of one of those rulings.

It is Customs opinion that a substantial transformation of a woven shirt (such as those at issue in the above cited rulings and the long sleeve shirt at issue in HQ 734489) occurs at the time of assembly of all the component parts into the completed garment. Though a sub-assembly operation of a component such as a collar or cuff might take place in another country, it is considered only a minor part of the complete assembly of the garment and should not control the country of origin determination of the shirt. The assembly process, i.e., the time at which all the component parts, including the sub-assembled parts are sewn together, is viewed by Customs as a substantial assembly resulting in a completed garment.

It is Customs view that sewing the individual components of the shirt together, particularly the long sleeves, collars, yokes and plackets, to form the completed shirt, necessitates careful and skilled sewing in the assembly. In this case, the complete assembly of all the component parts in Country B is beyond a simple sewing operation and thus qualifies as a substantial assembly process.

Accordingly, if the specific factual situations as outlined in your original request have not changed, the country of origin of the articles is Country B.

This modification is made pursuant to 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1) and is not retroactive in application. However HQ 734489 will not be valid for importations of the subject merchandise arriving in the United States after the date of this notice. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected (i.e., merchandise previously ordered and arriving in the United States subsequent to this modification will be classified accordingly). If it can be shown that you relied to your detriment, you may apply to this office for relief. However, you should be aware that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.


John Durant,

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