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HQ 959603





November 7, 1996
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959603 CAB

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

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

RE: Country of origin of girl's and boys' fleece jackets; Section 102.21(c)(4); Section 102.21(c)(5)

Dear Ms. Weinberg:

This is in response to your inquiry of August 5, 1996, requesting a country of origin determination pursuant to Section 102.21, Customs Regulations, for certain jackets. This request is on behalf of your client K.L.W. Limited. A revised submission, superseding all prior requests was sent to Customs on October 28, 1996. Samples were submitted for examination.

FACTS:

The garments at issue are girls' and boys' 100 percent polyester polar fleece knitted jackets. Style CC2115 is a girls' jacket with a full front opening secured by four buttons, long sleeves, two patch pockets, and a collar. Style CC2134 is a boys' jacket containing a hood, a full front opening with a four button means of closure, long sleeves, two front patch pockets with flaps, and a pieced back panel. The back panel of Style CC2134 is comprised of six pieces of material creating a checkered design.

The manufacturing operations are performed in Countries "A" and "B". Although not stated in your submission, Customs is assuming that Countries "A" and "B" will not include Israel or a signatory of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The manufacturing operations are as follows:

GIRLS' JACKET

1. Fabric will be cut into components
2. Components will be embroidered
3. The collar will be formed
4. The left and right plackets are formed by folding and hemming the front panels; the front plackets are not separate components
5. The buttonholes are slit on the right placket 6. Patch pockets are formed and stitched to front panels 7. Front and back panels are joined at shoulder seams 8. Collar is attached to garment
9. Sleeves are hemmed, but side seams of sleeves are not sewn 10. Sleeves will be sewn at the side seams and then joined to the body of the garment
11. The front and back panels will be assembled by joining the side seams
12. The hemmed portions of the garment will be overlocked and topstitched

SCENARIO I

Country B - Operations 1-8
Country A - Operations 9-12

SCENARIO II

Country B - Operations 1-7
Country A - Operations 8-12

SCENARIO III

Country B - Operations 1-6
Country A - Operations 7-12

BOYS' JACKET

1. Fabric is cut into components
2. Front and back panels are embroidered
3. Plackets are formed by folding and hemming front panels; the plackets are not separate components
4. Pockets and pocket flaps are sewn and attached to front panels
5. Hood and side tab are sewn
6. Sleeves are hemmed, but side seams are not sewn 7. Back panel is formed by stitching pieced components together 8. Front and back panels are joined at the shoulder seams 9. Hood is attached
10. Side seams of sleeves are stitched and sleeves are joined to the body of the garment
11. Side seams are joined
12. Bottom is hemmed by overlocking and topstitching

SCENARIO I

Country B - Operations 1-8
Country A - Operations 9-12

SCENARIO II

Country B - Operations 1-7b (7 is split into two operations) 7a - consists of forming the left and right back panels by stitching pieced components together
(3 components per panel)
7b - consists of stitching the left and right back panels together

Country A - Operations 8-12

SCENARIO III

Country B - Operations 1-7a
Country A - Operations 7b-12

ISSUE:

What is the country of origin of the subject merchandise under the proposed scenarios?

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Pursuant to Section 334 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (codified at 19 USC Section 3592), new rules of origin were 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 to determine country of origin. Thus, the country of origin of a textile product is 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 or apparel product when the good is wholly obtained or produced. As the subject garments have not been wholly obtained or produced in a single country, this section is inapplicable.

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

Section 102.21(c)(2) provides, in pertinent part:

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) provides, in pertinent part:

Specific rules by tariff classification. 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:

6101-6117 (1) If the good is not knit to shape and consists of two or more component parts, a change to heading 6101 through 6117 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 jackets are classifiable under either Heading 6101, of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for boys' knitted windbreakers and similar articles or Heading 6102, HTSUSA, which provides for girls' knitted windbreakers and similar articles. Section 102.21(c)(2) is not applicable to the instant merchandise as the jackets are not wholly assembled in a single country.

Section 102.21(c)(3) provides for goods that have been wholly assembled (with certain enumerated exceptions) in a single country, insular possession, or territory or which are knit to shape. Section 102.21(c)(3) is therefore inapplicable to the subject merchandise as it has not been wholly assembled in a single country, insular possession, or territory, nor is it a knit to shape good.

Section 102.21(c)(4) provides the first multi-country rule. Section 102.21(c)(4), states the following:

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.

Section 102.21(c)(5) provides the last multi-country rule. Section 102.21(c)(5), states the following:

Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1), (2), (3) or (4) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the last country, territory, or insular possession in which an important assembly or manufacturing process occurred.

In the case of the girls' knitted jacket in Scenario I, pursuant to Section 102.21(c)(4), the most important assembly operation occurs in Country B, as it is in this country that the majority of the garment is assembled to completion, discounting minor subassemblies. In the case of the girls' knitted jacket in Scenario II, it is not possible to determine whether the most important assembly or manufacturing process occurs in Country A or Country B, therefore we look to Section 102.21(c)(5) which states that the country, territory, or insular possession in which an important assembly or manufacturing process last occurred will be the country of origin. As the assembly operations performed in Country A transpire after those performed in Country B, Country A is the country of origin for the girls' jacket in Scenario II. In Scenario III, pursuant to Section 102.21(c)(4), the most important assembly occurs in Country A, as it is in Country A that the shoulder seams are joined, the side seams of the sleeves are sewn, the sleeves are attached to the body of the garment, the side seams are sewn, and the collar is attached.

In the case of the boys' knitted jacket in Scenario I, pursuant to Section 102.21(c)(4), the most important assembly operation occurs in Country B, as it is in Country B that the majority of the garment is assembled to completion, discounting minor subassemblies. In Scenario II, pursuant to Section 102.21(c)(4), the most important assembly operation occurs in Country A, as it is in this country that the front and back panels are joined at the shoulder seams, the hood is attached, the side seams of sleeves are stitched, the sleeves are joined to the body of the garment, and the side seams are joined. In Scenario III, the manufacturing process for the boys' knitted jacket includes forming the left and right back panels by stitching pieced components together, the front and back panels are joined at the shoulder seams, the hood is attached, the sleeves are attached, and the side seams are joined in Country A. Therefore, in accordance with Section 102.21(c)(4), the country of origin of the boys' jacket in Scenario III is Country A, the country where the most important assembly operation occurred.

HOLDING:

In Scenarios II and III, the country of origin for the girls' and boys' jackets is Country A. In Scenario I, the country of origin for the girls' and boys' jacket 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 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.

Sincerely,

John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals
Division

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