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NY A83297

May 31, 1996

CLA-2-57:RR:NC:TP:349 A83297


TARIFF NO.: 5703.20.2010; 5703.20.2090; 9802.00.9000

Mr. Brett Harris, Esq.
Siegel, Mandell & Davidison, P.C.
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway - 43rd Floor
New York, NY 10036-8901

RE: The tariff classification of carpet assembled in Mexico

Dear Mr. Harris:

In your letter dated May 3, 1996 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Liberty Carpet Co., Inc.

You have submitted samples of a defective carpet, binding tape and a finished area rug. Rolls of carpet seconds are purchased from domestic carpet mills. These U.S. made nylon tufted carpets contain various defects such as discolorations, holes and stains. The submitted sample is defective due to a section of carpet that is missing the nylon tufts. These carpet seconds are generally 12 feet wide and may range in length from 15 inches to several feet. The carpet rolls and the U.S. origin binding tape are sent to Mexico where the rolls will be cut to remove the defective areas. This cutting will be to length and occasionally to length and width. The carpet segment will then be trimmed of selvage, if necessary, and finished by sewing the binding tape to the four edges. The finished tufted rugs will be in various sizes including 15 x 27 inches, 18 x 24 inches, 18 x 27 inches, 2 x 3 feet, 3 x 5 feet, 4 x 6 feet, 6 x 9 feet and 9 x 12 feet.

The applicable tariff provision for the finished rugs that are not more than 5.25 square meters in area will be 5703.20.2010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), while the tariff provision for those rugs measuring over 5.25 square meters in area will be 5703.20.2090, HTSUSA. These provisions provide for carpets and other textile floor coverings, tufted, whether or not made up: of nylon or other polyamides: other. The general rate of duty will be 7.4 percent ad valorem.

The fact that these rugs will be made from components of United States origin raises the possibility of a duty free status under subheading 9802.00.9000, HTSUSA. This subheading provides for textile and apparel goods, assembled in Mexico in which all fabric components where wholly formed and cut in the United States, which (a) were exported in 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 abroad except by being assembled and except by operations incidental to the assembly process; provided that goods classifiable in chapters 61, 62 or 63 may have been subject to bleaching, garment dyeing, stone-washing, acid-washing or perma-pressing after assembly as provided for herein.

The cutting of the binding tape to length, the cutting of the defective carpet to length and the trimming of the selvage are all considered acceptable operations incidental to the assembly process. The cutting of the defective carpet to both length and width, however, is not an acceptable assembly operation or an operation incidental to assembly. Cutting to length and width is considered a further fabrication analogous to cutting fabric into a specific pattern piece.

On the basis of the information presented, it is our opinion that the rugs made from U.S. carpeting cut to length in Mexico are eligible for treatment within subheading 9802.00.9000, HTSUSA, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of the Customs Regulations. The rugs made from the carpeting cut to both length and width do not qualify for the duty exemption available under subheading 9802.00.9000. HTSUSA.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist John Hansen at 212-466-5854.


Roger J. Silvestri

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