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HQ 956619

September 23, 1994

CLA CO:R:C:T 956619 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6203.42.4015

Mr. Ryden Richardson, Jr.
Carmichael International Service
533 Glendale Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA. 90026-0057

RE: Classification and country of origin determination for men's pants

Dear Mr. Richardson:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of May 25, 1994, on behalf of your client, Rays Apparel Inc., requesting a classification and country of origin determination for a pair of men's woven cotton pants. A sample was submitted to this office for examination.


The submitted sample, referenced style number 2-80180, consists of a pair of men's cotton woven pants featuring a flat waistband with belt loops, a button closure on the waistband, a fly front opening with a zipper closure, side seam pockets, two rear pockets and a hemmed leg bottom.

You state that the cotton fabric for the pants is sourced in Hong Kong, China or another third country. The fabric will be sent to Hong Kong where it will be cut and sewn into the garment. The garment will then be sent to China where it will undergo finishing operations which you state to be opening button holes and sewing on buttons, putting on bartacks, trimming, washing, pressing and packaging.


What is the classification and country of origin of the merchandise at issue?



Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

Chapter 62, HTSUSA, provides for articles of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted. Heading 6203, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, men's trousers. The subject sample is thus classifiable in subheading 6203.42.4015, HTSUSA, which is the provision for men's trousers of cotton.

Country of Origin

Section 12.130 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130) sets forth the principles of country of origin for textiles and textile products subject to Section 204 of the Agricultural Act of 1956, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1854).

Pursuant to 19 CFR 12.130(b), the standard of substantial transformation governs the country of origin determination where textiles and textile products are processed in more than one country. The country of origin of textile products is deemed to be that foreign territory or country where the article last underwent a substantial transformation. Substantial transformation is said to occur when the article has been transformed into a new and different article of commerce by means of substantial manufacturing or processing.

The factors to be applied in determining whether or not a manufacturing operation is substantial are set forth in 19 CFR 12.130(d). Section 12.130(e)(1) describes manufacturing or processing operations from which an article will usually be considered a product of the country in which those operations occurred. Section 12.130(e)(1)(iv) provides that an article or material usually will be a product of a particular foreign territory or country when there has been both a cutting of fabric into parts and the assembly of those parts into the completed article.

Additional operations such as opening the buttonholes and sewing on the buttons and bartacks are considered minor finishing operations and are not sufficient to affect the country of origin. Trimming, washing, pressing and packing fall within the language of section 12.130(e)(2)(i) which states:

An article or material usually will not be considered to be a product of a particular foreign territory or country, or insular possession of the U.S. by virtue of merely having undergone any of the following:

Simple combining operations, labeling, pressing, cleaning or dry cleaning, or packaging operations, or any combination thereof;

The country of origin of the subject garment is Hong Kong as that is where the cutting and assembly to produce the garment takes place.


Style number 2-80180 is classifiable in subheading 6203.42.4015, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, men's trousers, of cotton, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 17.7 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 347.

The country or origin of the submitted merchandise is Hong Kong. It is in Hong Kong where the fabric is cut and sewn into the garment.

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 negotiations and changes, we suggest that your client check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service which is updated weekly and is available at the local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, your client should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

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)). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

Should it be subsequently 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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