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NY 800917

August 16, 1994

CLA-2-51:S:N:N6:351 800917


TARIFF NO.: 5105.29.0000

Mr. Jackson H. Daniel Jr.
International Forwarders Inc.
1350 Ashley River Road
P.O. Box 32428
Charleston, SC 29417-2428

RE:The tariff classification, country of origin and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of wool tops that are processed, carded and combed in Mexico from Australian wool; Article 509.

Dear Mr. Daniel:

In your letter dated August 1, 1994 you requested a ruling on the classification, country of origin and status under the NAFTA, of wool tops processed, carded and combed in Mexico from Australian wool, on behalf of Provoust Lefebvre and Co. Inc.


You have submitted two samples: a package of raw (greasy) Australian wool, and a package of carded, combed wool "tops" such as you plan to produce in Mexico. The greasy wool consists of uncleaned, tangled fibers which include foreign matter such as vegetable particles, as the wool appears just after it is shorn from the sheep. The "tops" consist of cleaned, smoothed fibers, aligned through combing into a loose rope-like configuration, ready to be spun into yarn.

In your letter you state that you plan to construct a wool processing facility in Mexico in order to process raw (greasy) Australian wool into wool tops, which will then be imported into the United States. Although you do not so state, processing greasy wool into wool tops generally involves the following steps:

(1)Scouring (degreasing) consists of washing or otherwise treating the wool to remove natural oils and vegetable matter. (2) Carbonizing (optional) occurs if the wool is not sufficiently clear of vegetable matter after scouring, and consists of a dilute acid bath which burns out the foreign matter.

(3) Drying conditions the wool for further handling.

(4) Oiling treats the wool to keep it from becoming brittle and to lubricate it for the spinning operation.

(5) Dyeing (optional) may be done after oiling and before further processing.

(6) Blending (optional) of different grades of wool may be done at the next stage.

(7) Carding disentangles the fibers to prepare them for spinning, and is done by passing the fibers between rollers covered with fine wire teeth. This stage produces wool in the form of loose, untwisted, rope-like "sliver." Certain types of yarn, known as "woolen" yarns, can be spun from carded wool.

(8) Gilling and Combing consist of further drawing of the fibers along fine-toothed combs, to remove the shorter fibers and further align the longer ones, to produce "tops," suitable for spinning into the finer "worsted" yarns.

Based on your letter, it is apparent that all of the above steps (probably excluding the "optional" ones) will occur in Mexico.


The applicable tariff provision for the wool tops will be 5105.29.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for wool and fine or coarse animal hair, carded or combed...; wool tops and other combed wool; other. The general rate of duty will be 7.7 cents per kilogram plus 6.25 percent ad valorem.


The merchandise does not qualify for preferential treatment under the NAFTA because the non-originating material (i.e., the Australian wool) used in the production of the goods, will not undergo the change in tariff classification required by General Note 12(t)/51, HTSUSA.


Part 102 of the interim Customs Regulations sets forth the "NAFTA Marking Rules" for purposes of determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country for marking purposes. Section 102.11 sets forth the required hierarchy for determining country of origin for marking purposes. Applying the NAFTA Marking Rules set forth in Part 102 to the facts of this case, we find that the imported tops are goods of a Australia for marking purposes.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.

Should you wish to request an administrative review of this ruling, submit a copy of this ruling and all relevant facts and arguments within 30 days of the date of this letter, to the Director, Office of Regulations and Rulings, U.S. Customs Service, 1301 Constitution Ave. N.W., Franklin Court, Washington, D.C. 20229.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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