United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1997 HQ Rulings > HQ 959150 - HQ 959319 > HQ 959181

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 959181

July 1, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959181 NLP


Mr. Robert Stack
Tompkins & Davidson
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
43rd Floor
New York, New York 10036-8901

RE: Country of origin determination for picture frames; 19 CFR

Dear Mr. Stack:

This is in reply to your letter dated April 23, 1996, on behalf of Laura Ashley, Inc., requesting a country of origin determination for picture frames. In a letter, dated June 24, 1996, we informed you that certain information concerning the sourcing of the fabric and the production processes would be treated as confidential. Samples of the frames were provided for our examination.


The articles at issue are two textile covered photo frames, measuring approximately four inches high by six and one-half inches across when open for viewing. Photo frame A is rectangular in shape and composed of a combination of cardboard, textile fabric and clear plastic sheeting. The cardboard frame sections are each covered with fabric and are glued together; there are rectangular plastic inserts backing the two rectangular viewing areas. Photo frame B has a curved top and is composed of cardboard, fabric, plastic foam and clear plastic sheeting. The cardboard frame sections are covered with fabric; the two front cardboard frame sections contain foam padding which is covered with textile fabric. The clear plastic inserts are rectangular, but each of the two viewing areas has an oval shape.

The processing operations are as follows:

Country A greige fabric will be formed

Country B fabric will be dyed and printed and various fabric finishing operations will be performed

Country C cardboard is produced plastic foam is produced (for photo frame B only) clear plastic sheets are produced all of the components are cut to shape fabric is cut frames are assembled

What is the country of origin of the photo frames?


Pursuant to the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, new rules of origin will be effective for textile products entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after July 1, 1996. These rules were published in the Federal Register, 60 Fed. Reg. 46188 (September 5, 1995). Section 102.21, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Section 102.21), sets forth the general rules which determine country of origin. The country of origin of a textile product will be determined by a hierarchy of rules set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(5) of Section 102.21.

Section 102.21(c)(1) sets forth the general rule for determining the country of origin of a textile product in which the good is wholly obtained or produced in a single country, territory, or insular possession. It states the following: "The country 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.

Section 102.21(c)(2) provides for instances where the country of origin of a textile product cannot be determined under Section 102.21(c)(1). Section 102.21(c)(2) provides the following:

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 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.

Paragraph (e) states that "The following rules shall apply for purposes of determining the country of origin of a textile or apparel product under paragraph (c)(2) of this section:"

6307.90 The country of origin of a good classifiable under subheading 6307.90 is the country, territory, or insular possession in which the fabric comprising the good was formed by a fabric-making process.

The subject photo frames are classifiable in subheading 6307.90, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The fabric for both frames is formed by a fabric-making process in Country A. Therefore, as the "fabric-making" process occurs in a single country, the country of origin for these photo frames is conferred by Country A.

In your letter, you contend that although the photo frames contain fabric, this fabric does not "comprise" the frame, but is merely one of several materials present, none of which imparts the essential character of the frames under prior Customs rulings. You argue that for the tariff shift rule of 102.21(e) to apply, the imported product must essentially be made up of the fabric component or that the fabric must at least impart the essence of the imported product. This is not the case with respect to the photo frames as their classification as a textile product in subheading 6307.90, HTSUS, is based on General Rule of Interpretation 3(c), rather than an essential character analysis pursuant to GRI 3(b).

Once the articles at issue were classified in subheading 6307.90, HTSUS, Customs does not re-analyze how this classification was arrived at in determining the articles' country of origin. Specifically, the fact that these types of frames are generally classified as textile articles according to a GRI 3(c) analysis, rather than pursuant to a GRI 3(b) essential character analysis, has no bearing on whether the frames are comprised of fabric or not for a country of origin determination. For country of origin purposes, if the requirements of section 102.21(c)(1) are inapplicable, and it is determined that the subject articles are classifiable in subheading 6307.90, HTSUS, we then look to the applicable tariff shift rule established in paragraph (e) of Section 102.2. If the country of origin can be determined by the tariff shift rule for that subheading, then Customs need not look further and origin is determined accordingly.

Moreover, we note that if one applies the definitions you cite for "comprise", we believe that the frame would be considered to be comprised of fabric. Based on an examination of the frames, one would be hard pressed to say that it is not "made up of fabric", or that the frames are not covered with fabric or consist of it.


The country of origin for the two photo frames is Country A.

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in section 19 C.F.R. directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

Should it be subsequently determined that the information furnished is not complete and does not comply with 19 C.F.R. revocation. In the event there is a change in the facts previously furnished, this may affect the determination of country of origin. Accordingly, if there is any change in the facts submitted to Customs, it is recommended that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with 19 C.F.R. ?177.2. .


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

Previous Ruling Next Ruling