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HQ 559411

April 7, 1997

MAR 2-10 RR:TC:SM 559411 KBR


Philip Freeman
CAIN Customs Brokers
Progreso International Bridge
P.O. Box 10
Progreso, TX 78579

RE: Country of origin determination for chef's jacket; 19 CFR

Dear Mr. Freeman:

This is in response to your letter dated August 25, 1995, on behalf of the Ramas Industries, Inc., concerning the country of origin marking and classification of two types of chef's jackets which are assembled in Mexico from fabric components which are formed and cut in the U.S. You submitted a sample with this request. We apologize for the delay in responding.


The subject merchandise are two types of chef's jacket: one made of 70% polyester, 30% cotton blend fabric; and one made of 100% cotton denim fabric. The jackets have removable plastic buttons and four rows of buttonholes allowing the wearer to adjust the buttoning position. The fabric is treated with a soil release compound, "QC 2000". You state that all of the fabric comprising the chef's jackets are of U.S. origin as it is formed and cut in the U.S. Then, the fabric components are sent to Mexico where they are assembled into the finished chef's jackets. The finished chef's jackets are then imported into the U.S. The sample chef's jacket is currently made in the U.S., and bears a label in the collar which states "MADE IN THE U.S.A." You state that you wish to place a label on the imported chef's jacket which will list the fabric content and fabric care instructions and state "Made in Mexico".


1. What is the classification and country of origin for the chef's jacket?

2. What is the proper country of origin marking for the chef's jacket?

3. Does the chef's jacket qualify for duty-free treatment pursuant to 9802.00.90, HTSUS?


1. Classification and Country of Origin

On December 8, 1994, the President signed into law the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. Section 334 of that Act provides new rules of origin for textiles and apparel entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on and after July 1, 1996. On September 5, 1995, Customs published Section 102.21, Customs Regulations, in the Federal Register, implementing Section 334 (60 FR 46188).
Thus, effective July 1, 1996, the country of origin of a textile or apparel product is determined by sequential application of the general rules set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) through (5) of Section 102.21.

Paragraph (c)(1) states that "The country of origin of a textile or apparel product is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was wholly obtained or produced." As the subject merchandise is not wholly obtained or produced in a single country, territory or insular possession, paragraph (c)(1) of Section 102.21 is inapplicable.

Paragraph (c)(2) states that "Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which each of the foreign material incorporated in that good underwent an applicable change in tariff classification, and/or met any other requirement, specified for the good in paragraph (e) of this section:".

We have determined that the proper classification of the chef's jacket is within subheading 6206.30.3040, (Women's or girls' blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses; of cotton; Other; Other: Other: Women), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The applicable rule for the change in tariff classification is found at 19 CFR ?102.21(e), 6201-6208, which requires "(1) If the good consists of two or more component parts, a change to an assembled good of heading 6201 through 6208 from unassembled components, provided that the change is the result of the good being wholly assembled in a single country, territory, or insular possession." Therefore, since the chef's jacket is wholly assembled in a single country (Mexico), it meets the applicable change in tariff classification rule. Therefore, the country of origin, pursuant to ?102.21(c)(2), is Mexico.

2. Marking

Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. origin imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. ?1304.

Customs has long held that the appropriate place for a garment for the torso to be marked is in the nape of the neck. In T.D. 4640(6) (1958), Customs ruled that the country of origin marking must be placed on the "inside center of the neck midway between the shoulder seams or in that immediate area". HQ 734105 (October 18, 1991); see, HQ 734107 (May 15, 1991). We find that the label you wish to place on the inside collar of the chef's jacket with the country of origin marking "Made in Mexico" is acceptable.

3. 9802.00.90

Subheading 9802.00.90, HTSUS, was created to provide for the duty-free entry of:

Textile and apparel goods, assembled in Mexico in which all fabric components were wholly formed and cut in the United States, provided that such fabric components in whole or in part, (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 the 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.

Since subheading 9802.00.90, HTSUS, was intended as a successor provision to subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, with respect to certain textile and apparel goods assembled in Mexico, the regulations under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, may be instructive in determining whether a good is eligible for the beneficial duty treatment accorded by subheading 9802.00.90, HTSUS.

Under section 10.14(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.14(a)), components will not lose their entitlement to the benefits of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, by being subjected to operations incidental to the assembly before, during, or after the assembly with other components. Pursuant to section 10.16(a) of the Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(a)), the assembly operations performed abroad may consist of any method used to join or fit solid components, such as welding, soldering, riveting, force fitting, gluing, laminating, sewing, or the use of fasteners, and may be preceded, accompanied, or followed by operations incidental to the assembly process.

In the instant case, based on the limited information provided, we find that the sewing operations used to join the fabric components to make the chef's jackets are acceptable assembly operations. Accordingly, the chef's jackets that are assembled in Mexico may be entered free of duty under subheading 9802.00.90, HTSUS, provided all fabric components are wholly formed (i.e., the fabric is woven or milled in the U.S.) and cut in the U.S., and all other conditions of the subheading are met.


The classification of the garment is within subheading 6206.30.3040, (Women's or girls' blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses; of cotton; Other; Other: Other: Women), HTSUS. The country of origin of the garment is Mexico. The placement of the country of origin marking in the collar of the chef's jacket is an acceptable location. Based upon the facts presented, the garment qualifies for duty-free treatment pursuant to subheading 9802.00.90, HTSUS.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

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