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NY 811519

June 22,1995

CLA-2-94:S:N:N6:345 811519


TARIFF NO.: 9404.30.8000; 9802.00.80

Mr. Marty Langtry
Tower Group International, Inc. 2400 Marine Avenue Redondo Beach, California 90278-1103

RE: Applicability of partial duty exemption to sleeping bags imported from China under item 9802.00.80 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)

Dear Mr Langtry:

In your letter dated June 9,1995, on behalf of your client, American Recreation Products, you requested a binding ruling on prospective shipments of sleeping bags, to be imported from China, under U.S. Goods Returned (Heading 9802).

You indicate that the sleeping bags are stuffed with a polyester staple that is made in the U.S. by Dupont and shipped to the manufacturer in China. The manufacturer processes the baled staple by mechanically separating, rearranging and aligning the fiber to form a continuous sheet, then cuts the piece to length and inserts the staple fiber into the Chinese-made sleeping bag shell. The shell is sewn, a zipper added and the bag packed for shipment to the United States.

You describe the process whereby the manufacturer forms the fiber into a continuous sheet as "Garnetting" and submit samples of the fibers before and after processing. You contend that the process is similar to cleaning or removing rust etc. and that this process, and cutting to length, trimming and stuffing or fitting the U.S. made fiber into the sleeping bag are all operations permitted under 19 CFR 10.16. You propose classification of the sleeping bags under 9404.30.8000 with alternative classification under 9802.00.80 to deduct the cost of the polyester staple from the dutiable value in accordance with Chapter 98, Subchapter II, Note 4.

Item 9802.00.80 HTSUS provides for a partial duty exemption for articles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, the product of the United States, which (a) were exported in a condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape or otherwise, and (c) have not been advanced in value or improved in condition except by being assembled and except by operations such as cleaning, lubricating and painting. All three requirements must be satisfied before a component may receive a duty allowance.

Upon examining the samples before and after processing, we find that the polyester staple fiber is processed by the foreign manufacturer such that it is considered to be a carded sheet. This process is not considered to be cleaning or lubricating incidental to assembly, but is further fabrication. Without this operation, the fiber would not be in a condition ready for assembly. This operation performed abroad precludes classification under item 9802.00.80 HTSUS.

The applicable subheading for the sleeping bags will be item 9404.30.8000 HTSUS, which provides for sleeping bags: other. The rate of duty will be 9% percent ad valorem. No consideration will be given to a deduction in value under item 9802.00.80 HTSUS.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

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.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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