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HQ 959344





July 18, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959344 NLP

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

Diane L. Weinberg, Esq.
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
505 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022-1106

RE: Country of origin determination for men's long sleeve cotton shirts; 19 CFR 102.21(c)(4)

Dear Ms. Weinberg:

This is in reply to your letter dated June 14, 1996, requesting a country of origin determination for men's long sleeve cotton shirts with a full front placketed opening. On July 11, 1996, you sent Customs a letter informing us that the above request is being made on behalf of the follwing companies: DNP Garment Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd., Tanaka Sdn. Bhd., and Dragon & Phoenix Serba Pakaian Sdn. Bhd.

FACTS:

The garments at issue are men's 100 percent woven cotton long sleeve shirts. The manufacturing operations are as follows:

PRODUCTION PLAN 1

Country A

Piece goods are cut into shaped components Front pockets and pocket flaps are formed and attached to the front panels
Collar is formed
Cuffs are formed
Belt loop is made and interlinings are cut Yoke, label and beltloop are sewn and attached to the back panel
Pleats are sewn
Front panel is placketed and buttonholed, buttons are attached
Sleeve panel is placketed, and pleats and labels are sewn onto the sleeve panel

Country B

Right and left front panels and the back panels are joined at the shoulder seam
Collar is assembled to the front and back body panels Sleeves are attached to the front and back panels Underarm seam and side seams are closed
Cuffs are assembled to the sleeves
Assembled garment undergoes finishing and packing operations

PRODUCTION PLAN II

Country A

Piece goods are cut into shaped components Front pockets and pocket flaps are formed and attached to the front panels
Collar is formed
Cuffs are formed
Belt loop is made and interlining is cut
Yoke, label and belt loops are sewn and attached to the back panel, and pleats are sewn
Front panel is placketed and button holed Buttons are attached
Sleeve panel is placketed, and pleats and labels are sewn onto the sleeve panel

Country B

Right and left front panels and the back panels are joined at the shoulder seam
Collar is assembled to the front and back panels Sleeves are attached to the front and back panels Underarm seam and the sideseams are closed Cuffs are assembled to the sleeves

Country A

Bottom is hemmed
Edges are stitched
Assembled garment undergoes finishing and packing operations

ISSUE:

What is the country of origin of the subject men's shirts?

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

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 shall be 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 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:"

6201-6208 (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.

The subject merchandise is classifiable as men's woven shirts in heading 6205, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Section 102.21(b)(6) defines wholly assembled as:

The term "wholly assembled" when used with reference to a good means that all components, of which there must be at least two, preexisted in essentially the same condition as found in the finished good and were combined to form the finished good in a single country, territory, or insular possession. Minor attachments and minor embellishments (for example, appliques, beads, spangles, embroidery, buttons) not appreciably affecting the identity of the good, and minor subassemblies (for example, collars, cuffs, plackets, pockets), will not affect the status of a good as "wholly assembled" in a single country, territory, or insular possession.

As the subject shirts are assembled in both Country A and Country B, the good is not wholly assembled in a single country as per Section 102.21 (c)(2).

Paragraph (c)(3) states that "Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1) or (2) of this section":

(I) If the good was knit to shape, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was knit; or

(ii) Except for goods of heading 5609, 5807, 5811, 6213, 6214, 6301 through 6306, and 6308, and subheadings 6209.20.5040, 6307.10, 6307.90, and 9404.90, if the good was not knit to shape and the good was wholly assembled in a single country, territory, or insular possession, the country of origin of the good is the country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was wholly assembled.

As the subject merchandise is neither knit, nor wholly assembled in a single country, Section 102.21 (c)(3) is inapplicable.

Section 102.21 (c)(4) states, "Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1), (2) or (3) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory or insular possession in which the most important assembly or manufacturing process occurred". In the case of the subject merchandise, assembly occurs in both Country A and Country B. It is our position that in production plan I, the most important assembly operations occur in Country B, as it is in this country that the majority of the garment is assembled to completion, discounting any minor subassemblies (as defined in Section 102.21, paragraph (6)) and finishing operations. In production plan II, the most important assembly operations occur in Country B, as it is in this country that the majority of the garment is assembled to completion, discounting any minor subassemblies.

HOLDING:

In production plans I and II, the country of origin for the shirts is Country B.

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 CFR 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every respect.

Should it be subsequently determined that the information furnished is not complete and does not comply with 177.9(b)(1), the ruling will be subject to modification or 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 recommend that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2.

Sincerely,

John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

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