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HQ 956300

April 25, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956300 HP


El-Kung Limited
No. 81, Ta Tung Road
Chung Cheng Village
Lung Tan Hsiang
Taoyuan Hsien, TAIWAN

RE: Country of origin of boxer shorts. Mere assembly.

Dear Sir:

This is in reply to your letter of April 15, 1994. That letter concerned the country of origin of boxer shorts, produced in two undisclosed countries.


The merchandise at issue consists of men's and boys' boxer shorts.

Operation in Country 1 Operation in Country 2 1. Fabric is woven.
2. Three patterned pieces are cut, including front and back. 1. Pieces are assembled into men's or boys woven boxer shorts.

Whether the assembly in Country 2 of the cut patterned pieces results in a substantial transformation for purposes of ?12.130, Customs Regulations?


Textile commodities produced in more than one foreign country are subject to the country of origin requirements delineated in section 12.130 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. ?12.130). These regulations provide that: . . . a textile product . . . which consists of materials produced or derived from, or processed in, more than one foreign . . . country shall be a product of that foreign . . . country where it last underwent a substantial transformation.
means of substantial manufacturing or processing operations into a new and different article of commerce."

Section 12.130 of the regulations outlines the criteria used to determine the country of origin for textiles and textile products. Specifically, this provision of the regulations is considered in determining whether a textile product has undergone substantial manufacturing or processing operations, and what constitutes a new and different article of commerce. The factors considered are not exhaustive. In fact, "one or any combination of criteria may be determinative, and additional factors may be considered." In determining whether merchandise has undergone substantial manufacturing or processing operations, we consider the (1) physical change in the material or the article; (2) time involved; (3) complexity of the operations; (4) level or degree of skill and/or technology required; and (5) value added to the article in each country.

It is well accepted that the cutting of fabric into necessary patterned pieces and assembly of those pieces into the completed article results in a substantial transformation of the fabric. See HRL 734394 of February 10, 1992; HRL 556070 of July 1, 1991. A substantial transformation does not occur, however, when those patterned pieces are shipped to a third country and merely assembled. See HRL 555489 of May 14, 1990; HRL 086229 of April 11, 1990; HRL 731036 of July 18, 1989.

Examining the merchandise at issue, it is our opinion that the assembly operations performed in Country 2 do not substantially transform the boxer shorts into products of Country 2. Those operations constitute a simple sewing of the cut patterned pieces into boxer shorts. This assembly is distinguished from the complex sewing operations required when manufacturing a suit, suit-type jacket, or tailored shirt. See ?12.130(e)(v), Customs Regulations. The boxer shorts would therefore be considered products of the country where the fabric was created and the patterned pieces cut to shape.


As a result of the foregoing, the boxer shorts are considered a product of Country 1, where the fabric was created and the patterned pieces cut to shape. The holding in this ruling applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in ?177.9(b)(1), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. ?177.9(b)(1)). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of 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 C.F.R. ?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. In such a case, it is recommended that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with

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.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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