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HQ 951210

April 24, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 951210 JED


Ms. Sherri Jones, General Manager
Unique Quilts, Inc.
3195 Park Road
Suite E
Benicia, California 94510

RE: Country of origin determination concerning quilts

Dear Ms. Jones:

This country of origin determination concerns the merchandise for which you have already received a classification ruling. HQ 089899 (October 30, 1991) classified the subject quilts in subheading 9404.90.8000, HTSUSA. In that ruling, we requested additional information in order to arrive at a country of origin determination. You responded by letter of February 18, 1992.


In china, 100% cotton fabrics are hand-cut into pieces. The pieces are machine sewn together to form a pattern or design according to various layouts. These sewn together pieces of fabric, which you now refer to as quilt tops, range in size from 1656 sq. in. To 10,528 sq. In. Your estimate is that the operations up to this pint account form approximately 1/3 of the total time necessary to produce a finished quilt. These quilt tops are sent to Lesotho.

In Lesotho, 100% polyester batting is placed between the quilt top and a backing layer of plain 100% cotton fabric. The backing is one piece. The three pieces are hand-stitched together using 5-6 stitches per inch. The stitching or quilting is done in specific designs over the entire area of the quilt. When this is done, a binding consisting of a strip of 100% cotton fabric is machine stitched to the front side and around the perimeter of the quilt. This binding is then wrapped around and hand stitched to the back of the quilt. You state that the item is now a completed quilt.

ISSUE: What is the country of origin of the above described quilts?


For country of origin purpose, ? 12.130, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130), is applicable to the merchandise at issue. Section 12.130(b) provides that a textile product that is processed in more than one foreign territory or country, or insular possession of the U.S., shall be a product of that foreign territory or country, or insular possession of the U.S. where it last underwent a substantial transformation. A textile product will be considered to have undergone a substantial transformation if it has been transformed by means of substantial manufacturing or processing operations into a new and different article of commerce.

Section 12.130(d), Customs Regulations sets forth criteria for evaluating the two prongs of the substantial transformation determination. The regulation states that the criteria are not exhaustive; one or any combination of criteria may be determinative, and additional factors may be considered. Section 12.130(d)(1) states that a new and different article of commerce will usually result from a manufacturing or processing operation if there is a change in: (i) commercial designation or identity; (ii) fundamental character; or (iii) commercial use.

Section 12.130(d)(2) states that in determining whether merchandise has been subjected to substantial manufacturing or processing operations, the following will be considered regarding the manufacturing or processing operations in each foreign country or territory, or insular possession of the U.S.: (i) the resulting physical change in the material or article; (ii) the time involved; (iii) the complexity of the operations; (iv) the level or degree of skill and/or technology required; and (v) the value added to the article or material.

Customs has long held that the mere assembly of goods by simple combining operations, trimming, or joining together by sewing is not enough to substantially transform the components of an article into a new and different article of commerce. For example, in HRL 082747 (February 23, 1989) Customs determined that the assembly of jeans was not a substantial transformation and in HQ 950887 (March 2, 1992) held that the assembly of piece goods into a brassiere was not a substantial transformation.

The processing in Lesotho involves the sewing together of a quilt top from China with two other layers of material and the addition of a binding. Such processing is not significant enough to constitute a substantial transformation as defined by the regulations set forth above. The country of origin of the quilts is China as that is where the piece goods are cut and sewn together and where the material last underwent a substantial transformation.


The country of origin of the quilts is China.

Section 177.9(b)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(b)(1)), states that a ruling 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. Accordingly, the holding set forth above applies only to the ruling request. Should it subsequently be 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. If there is a change in the facts furnished, the holding in this ruling may be affected. In such an event, it is recommended that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with ? 177.2, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.2).


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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