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HQ 959764

October 8, 1996
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959764 jb


Frank Kaliner
International Forwarders, Inc.
101 Trade Zone Dr., Suite 5A
West Columbia, S.C. 29170

RE: Country of origin determination for Thermoskin braces; 19 CFR ?102.21(c)(2); tariff shift

Dear Mr. Kaliner:

This is in reply to your letter dated September 16, 1996, on behalf of United Pacific, Inc., requesting a country of origin determination for Thermoskin braces which will be imported into the United States.


The submitted merchandise consists of a number of articles which come in a variety of shapes to cover different parts of the body. The merchandise has two main applications: as treatment for arthritis and sporting injuries. The product literature for this merchandise states that the Thermoskin braces provide "light compression and prolonged heat treatment" to the injured or affected parts of the body. The merchandise is composed of neoprene rubber which is laminated to a knitted nylon fabric. Hook and loop type fasteners serve to provide an adjustable fit. The manufacturing processes are as follows:


- neoprene foam rubber sheet is formed;
- knitted nylon fabric is formed;
- neoprene is laminated to the knitted nylon (referred to as a Sheico sheet).


- Sheico sheets are cut to form;
- straps and hook and loop type fasteners are stitched together using thread manufactured in the United States and Germany;
- joints are overstitched with woven elastic manufactured in Australia.

What is the country of origin of the subject merchandise?


On December 8, 1994, the President signed into law the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. Section 334 of that Act (codified at 19 U.S.C. 3592) provides new rules of origin for textiles and apparel entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on and after July 1, 1996.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":

6307.90 The country of origin of a good classifiable under heading 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 merchandise is classified in subheading 6307.90.9989, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The fabric for the subject Thermoskins is formed in Taiwan. As the "fabric-making" process occurs in a single country, i.e., Taiwan, country of origin is conferred in Taiwan.


The country of origin for the subject Thermoskin braces is Taiwan.

The holding set forth 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, 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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