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HQ 959524

November 4, 1996
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959524 jb


TARIFF NO.: 4202.32.9550

Stephen W. Marlow
Tower Group International
205 West Service Road
Champlain, NY 12919

RE: Classification and country of origin determination for eyeglass pouch; heading 4202, HTSUSA; Section 102.21(c)(2); tariff shift; NAFTA; Article 509

Dear Mr. Marlow:

This is in reply to your letter dated July 10, 1996, on behalf of your client, Itochu Canada Limited, requesting a classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) and a country of origin determination for an eyeglass pouch which will be imported into the United States. A sample was submitted to this office for examination.


The subject merchandise consists of a drawstring pouch, measuring 3-3/4 inches by 7-3/4 inches, and made of 50 percent polyester and 50 percent nylon knit fabric. The purpose of the pouch is to provide a container to secure sunglasses. The label on the outside of the pouch states "This sunglass bag is ideal for lens cleaning". The manufacturing operations are as follows:


- fabric is formed.


- fabric is cut;
- fabric is turned over and hemmed creating a tunnel through which the cord will be inserted; a loop is made and cord is inserted;
- sewing to form the bag; printed tag is attached;

- bag is returned inside out;
- cord is cut, knot is made and extra cord is burned.


1. What is the proper classification for the merchandise at issue?

2. Whether the subject merchandise is eligible for duty free treatment under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?

3. What is the country of origin of the subject merchandise?



Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining rules will be applied in sequential order.

Heading 4202, HTSUS, provides for, among other things, trunks, suit cases, vanity cases, attache cases, brief cases, school satchels, spectacle cases and similar containers. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN) state that subheading 4202.32, HTSUSA, covers articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag and include spectacle cases, note cases (bill folds), wallets, purses, key cases, cigarette cases, cigar cases, pipe cases and tobacco pouches. Where a pouch is considered specially designed to hold an article, and of adequate construction to be used repeatedly (rather than discarded), it is classifiable under heading 4202, HTSUS. If it is the kind of article to be carried in the pocket or handbag, with an outer surface of textile material, it is classifiable under subheading 4202.32, HTSUS.

The subject drawstring pouch is adequately constructed for repeated use. The dimensions of the pouch, 3-3/4 inches by 7-3/4 inches, make clear that sunglasses will be accommodated adequately therein. Furthermore, as indicated on the label, the fabric construction imparts a special feature to the subject merchandise, that is, as a cleaning cloth for the glasses. Accordingly, the subject merchandise is properly classified in subheading 4202.32.9550, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag: with outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials: with outer surface of textile materials: other: other; of man-made fibers.

NAFTA Eligibility

The subject drawstring pouch undergoes processing operations in Canada which is a country provided for under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). General Note 12, HTSUSA, incorporates Article 401 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) into the HTSUSA. Note 12(a) provides, in pertinent part:

(i) Goods that originate in the territory of a NAFTA party under the terms of subdivision (b) of this note and that qualify to be marked as goods of Canada under the terms of the marking rules... and are entered under a subheading for which a rate of duty appears in the "Special" subcolumn followed by the symbol "CA" in parentheses, are eligible for such duty rate... . [Emphasis added]

Accordingly, the drawstring pouch at issue will be eligible for the "Special" "CA" rate of duty provided it is a NAFTA "originating" good under General Note 12(b), HTSUSA, and it qualifies to be marked as a good of Canada. Note 12(b) provides in pertinent part,

For the purposes of this note, goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for the tariff treatment and quantitative limitations set forth in the tariff schedule as "goods originating in the territory of a NAFTA party" only if--

(i) they are goods wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Canada,
Mexico and/or the United States; or

(ii) they have been transformed in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States so that--

(A) except as provided in subdivision (f) of this note, each of the non-originating materials used in the production of such goods undergoes a change in tariff classification described in subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) of this note or the rules set forth therein, or

(B) the goods otherwise satisfy the applicable requirements of subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) where no change in tariff classification is required, and the goods satisfy all other requirements of this note; or

(iii) they are goods produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States exclusively from originating materials; or

Accordingly, the subject merchandise qualifies as a good of Canada only if the good has been transformed in Canada such that the non-originating material (fabric woven in Japan) undergoes the applicable change in tariff classification.

The subject drawstring pouch is classified in subheading 4202.32, HTSUS. For merchandise classifiable in this heading subdivision (t), chapter 42, rule 7 states that:

A change to subheading 4202.32 from any other chapter, except from headings 5407, 5408, or 5512 through 5516 or tariff items 5903.10.15, 5903.10.18, 5903.10.20, 5903.10.25, 5903.20.15, 5903.20.18, 5903.20.20, 5903.20.25, 5903.90.15, 5903.90.18, 5903.90.20, 5903.90.25, 5906.99.20, 5906.99.25, 5907.00.05, 5907.00.15 or 5907.00.60.

When the non-originating material from Japan enters Canada it is classifiable in heading 6002, HTSUS. As this heading is not excepted by subdivision (t), it undergoes the requisite change in tariff. As such, the drawstring pouch qualifies for the NAFTA preference.

Country of origin

On September 5, 1995, Customs published in the Federal Register (60 FR 46188) T.D. 95-69 which set forth final amendments to the Customs Regulations to implement the provisions of section 334 (b) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act ("the Act"), Public Law 103-465, 108 Stat. 4809, codified at 19 U.S.C. 3592, regarding the country of origin of textile and apparel products. These final regulations apply to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after July 1, 1996. The regulatory provisions in T.D. 95-69 that implement the basic origin principles of section 334(b) of the Act are contained in a new ?102.21 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 102.21).

The final rule for the rules for determining country of origin of a good for purposes of Annex 311 of the NAFTA was published by Customs on June 6, 1996, in the Federal Register (61 FR 28932). Therein it was stated, in pertinent part:

New ?102.21 was modeled on the approach taken in the interim Part 102 texts as published in T.D. 94-4 and thus incorporates a general statement of applicability (paragraph (a)), various definitions (paragraph (b)), general origin rules (paragraphs (c) and (d)), and specific tariff shift and/or other requirements (paragraph (e)) that apply under the second general rule. Of particular note for purposes of the present document is the definition of "textile or apparel product" in ?102.21(b)(5) which delineates the class of goods covered by the ?102.21 rules. That definition identifies those goods with reference to classification in the HTSUS and refers to Chapters 50 through 63 (that is, all of Section XI) of the HTSUS as well as to specific headings and 6-, 8- or 10-digit subheadings of the

HTSUS that fall outside Section XI. Thus, if a good is classifiable in an HTSUS provision listed in ?102.21(b)(5), precedence must be given to the ?102.21 rules over any other regulatory provision with regard to that good, including any origin rules contained elsewhere in part 102.

Accordingly, as the subject merchandise is classified in subheading 4202.32.95, HTSUS, a textile article identified by rules of origin to determine the appropriate country of origin.

Section 102.21(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 neither wholly obtained or produced in a single country, territory or insular possession, section 102.21(c)(1) is not applicable.

Section 102.21(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."

Section 102.21(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":

4202.32.40- 4202.32.95 A change to subheading 4202.32.40 through 4202.32.95 from any other heading, 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 classified in subheading 4202.32.9550, HTSUSA. As the drawstring pouch is wholly assembled in Canada, the country of origin is conferred in Canada.


The country of origin of the subject drawstring pouch is Canada.

The subject merchandise is eligible for the NAFTA preference.

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 material respect.

Should it be subsequently 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. 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 CFR 177.2.


John Durant, Director

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