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HQ 960007

December 16, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 960007 NLP


John W. Whitaker, Esq.
O'Neill & Whitaker, Inc.
1809 Baltimore Avenue
Kansas City, Missouri 64108

RE: Clarification of HQ 959418, dated July 18, 1996

Dear Mr. Whitaker:

This is in regard to Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 959418, issued to you from this office on July 18, 1996. In HQ 959418 Customs determined the country of origin of men's 100 percent woven cotton shirts pursuant to Section 102.21, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Section 102.21). Upon further review of the assembly operations performed in each country, Customs has determined that the rationale stated in HQ 959418 should be clarified.

The manufacturing operations performed in Country A involved the assembly of individual component parts of the shirt such as the collar, front plackets, pockets, sleeve placket and cuffs. In Country B, these individual component parts were assembled to form the completed garment. Although HQ 959418 correctly determined that the country of origin of the shirts was conferred by Country B, it failed to cite the appropriate Section of 102.21 by which the determination was made. Section 102.21(c)(4), the most important assembly rule, was incorrectly cited as the determinative paragraph. Section 102.21(c)(4) is not applicable because the operations occurring in Country A are considered minor subassemblies and the shirt can be considered "wholly assembled" in Country B and origin can therefore be determined in accordance with Section 102.21(c)(2).

Section 102.21(c)(2) states the following: "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). As such, it is provided for under the tariff shift rule. That rule also states that country of origin is conferred by that single country, territory, or insular possession in which the good is wholly assembled. 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.

In the case of the subject merchandise, the operations performed in Country A, that is, minor subassemblies such as the pockets, collar, cuffs, and plackets, do not change the fact that the components are "wholly assembled" to form the finished good in Country B. Accordingly, country of origin is conferred by Country B in accordance with the tariff shift rule and resort to Section 102.21(c)(4) is therefore unnecessary.

Thus, the determination in HQ 959418 remains the same, that is, the country of origin of the subject men's shirts is Country B. Country B confers country of origin because that is where the garment is wholly assembled.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

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