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HQ 957752

July 12, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 957752 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6302.60.0020

Ms. Teresita Estrella
Creative Home Linens, Inc.
Tiongson Building, Tiongson Compound
K-41 MacArthur Hi-way
Guinhawa, Malolos, Bulacan, Philippines

RE: Classification and Country of origin of kitchen terry tie towel; heading 6302, HTSUS; processing in India and the Philippines

Dear Ms. Estrella:

This is in response to your letter of February 1, 1995, requesting a tariff classification for a tie towel. From your letter, it appears you would also like a country of origin determination for quota purposes. A sample tie towel was received with your letter. You indicate the item will be entered in New Jersey.


The article at issue, known as a tie towel, consists of a padded woven top portion and a terry towel bottom portion. The top of the article is trapezoid in shape and consists of a relatively thin layer polyfill center with a cotton woven exterior. Capping is sewn around all four sides of the top portion and the side capping extends to form a strap. Sewn to the top portion is a 100 percent cotton terry towel that is specially folded so that at its widest point (at the bottom of the towel), it measures about 6 inches wide. The towel in its unfolded condition measures approximately 11-« by 15-¬ inches. The face of the towel is cut terry and features a bird house applique. The back of the towel has terry loops.

In your letter, you indicate a 15 by 25 inch towel is imported into the Philippines from India. In the Philippines, the towel is cut in half and the bird house applique is attached and embroidered. The top portion of the item is assembled from Philippine materials and the top portion is attached to the towel portion. -2-


What is the classification of the tie towel at issue and what is its country of origin?


Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

Customs has issued rulings on virtually identical articles also known as tie towels. See, Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 956432 of November 7, 1994; HRL 089866 of September 4, 1991; New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 881579 of January 7, 1993; and, NYRL 804935 of January 6, 1995. In those rulings, Customs held that the presence of the tie or ties precludes classification as a "dish towel". Therefore, tie towels are classified as "other" kitchen towels.

In HRL 956432, Customs classified a tie towel which was described as having a bottom portion consisting of "a towel made of 100 percent cotton fabric which is looped on one side and has sheared loops on the reverse side (velour toweling)." Citing the Explanatory Note for heading 5802, at page 795, Customs found the fabric of the towel to be terry toweling. The Explanatory Note describes terry toweling fabric as including fabrics where "the loops often appear twisted and are generally produced on both sides of the cloth, but sometimes only on one; [the loops] may sometimes be cut." Although not legally binding, the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System are recognized as the official interpretation of the Harmonized Tariff System at the international level. As the tie towel at issue is virtually identical to that described in HRL 956432, it too is classifiable as of terry toweling.

Section 12.130 of the Customs Regulations, 19 CFR 12.130, sets forth the principles for determining the country of origin of textiles and textile products subject to section 204 of the Agricultural Act of 1956, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1854). The regulation provides that a textile or textile product produced by processing in more than one country will be considered a product of that country in which it last underwent a substantial transformation. 19 CFR 12.130(b). Substantial transformation is defined in 12.130(b) as a transformation "by means of substantial manufacturing or processing operations into a new and different article of commerce." -3-

Section 12.130(e)(1) provides, in pertinent part, that an article or material usually will be considered a product of a particular country if while in that country it undergoes any of the following:

(iv) Cutting of fabric into parts and the assembly of those parts into the completed article;

In the Philippines, the Indian towel is cut to the size used in the tie towel. The top portion, i.e, the woven outer fabric, the polyfill, and the capping, is cut and assembled with the bottom terry portion. The bird house applique is attached and embroidered.

In the Philippines, the fabric components of the tie towel are cut into parts and those parts are assembled into the finished good. Applying 12.130(e)(1)(iv), the country of origin of the tie towel is the Philippines.


The tie towel at issue is classified as a cotton kitchen towel of terry toweling, other than a dish towel, in subheading 6302.60.0020, HTSUSA, textile category 363, dutiable at 10.2 percent ad valorem.

The country of origin of the tie towel is the Philippines.

This ruling is issued pursuant to the provisions of Part 177 Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 177). The holding in this ruling only applies to the specific factual situation presented and the merchandise identified in the ruling request. If the information furnished is not accurate or complete, or there is a change in the factual situation, this ruling will no longer be valid. In such an event, a new ruling request should be submitted.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest 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 updated weekly and is available for inspection at your 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, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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