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HQ 959763

October 23, 1996
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959763 jb


William J. LeClair
Trans-Border Customs Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 800
Champlain, NY 12919

RE: Country of origin determination for elastic braided belt; General Note 12, HTSUS; NAFTA

Dear Mr. LeClair:

This is in reply to your letter, dated July 22, 1996, on behalf of your client, Accessories By Rae Inc., requesting a country of origin determination for an elastic braided belt which will be imported into the United States.


The subject elastic braided belt, referenced style 1124, is made of braid in the piece. In your original letter you requested that we provide you information regarding the proper country of origin for this merchandise and the eligibility of this merchandise for duty free treatment under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The proper country of origin for this merchandise was addressed in HQ 959671, dated September 20, 1996. Accordingly this letter will only address the issue of NAFTA eligibility.

The subject belt is made of cords of cotton with a rubber core which have been braided together to form a textile fabric. The belt also features leather fittings and a brass buckle. The manufacturing operations are as follows:


- webbing (made of 90 percent cotton fabric and 10 percent rubber material) is formed and sent to Canada in rolls.


- webbing is cut to length;
- leather fittings are added;
- buckle is added.


Whether the subject merchandise is eligible for duty free treatment under the North American Free Trade Agreement


NAFTA eligibility

The subject belt undergoes processing operations in Canada which is a party to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). General Note 12, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), incorporates Article 401 of the 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 belt 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

The subject merchandise qualifies for NAFTA treatment only if the provisions of General Note 12(b)(ii)(A) are met, that is, if the merchandise is transformed in the territory of Canada so that the non-originating material (the fabric formed in China) undergoes a change in tariff classification as described in subdivision (t).

As the belt is classifiable in subheading 6217.10.9050, HTSUSA, subdivision (t), Chapter 62, rule 38, applies. That note states that:

A change to headings 6213 through 6217 from any other chapter, except from headings 5106 through 5113, 5204 through 5212, 5307 through 5308 or 5310 through 5311, chapter 54, or headings 5508 through 5516, 5801 through 5802 or 6001 through 6002, provided that the good is both cut and sewn or otherwise assembled in the territory of one or more of the NAFTA parties.

When the fabric for the subject belt leaves China it is classifiable in the provision for braid in the piece in subheading 5808, HTSUS. As heading 5808 is not excepted by subdivision (t), chapter 62, rule 38, and the merchandise is both cut and assembled in Canada, it meets the terms of the note. Accordingly, the subject belt qualifies for NAFTA treatment.


As was stipulated in HQ 959671, the country of origin of the subject belt, referenced style number 1124, is Canada.

The subject belt 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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