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NY 805791

March 13, 1995

CLA-2-62:S:N:N5:360 805791


TARIFF NO.: 6206.40.3030; 6211.43.0060

Ms. Bren Hamilton
Fritzi California
199 First Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-9990

RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of women's blouses from Mexico; Article 509

Dear Ms. Hamilton:

In your letter dated October 20, 1994, with additional information submitted on January 4, 1995, you requested a ruling on the status of women's blouses from Mexico under the NAFTA.

Three women's garments, no style designations provided, were submitted with your request. The PINK BUTTON FRONT BLOUSE is made from 57% acetate and 43% rayon woven fabric with trim of the same fabric composition. It features short sleeves, a rounded neckline, a full front opening secured by five buttons and a slightly cutaway front bottom. The BLACK DOT VESTED SHIRT is a single garment that simulates in appearance a vest and a blouse. The white pullover garment is made from 52% acetate and 48% rayon woven fabric. Sewn to the front of this garment is a simulated vest attached at the shoulder and side seams. It is made from 57% acetate and 43% rayon woven fabric. The simulated vest has a single button closure. The IVORY TANK TOP is a sleeveless, pullover garment with 2 1/2 inch wide straps and a curved hem bottom. It is made from 52% acetate and 48% rayon woven fabric with trim made of 100% rayon woven fabric.

You provided the following information required to make a determination as to whether the garment qualifies as originating under the NAFTA. For each blouse, the fabric used in the construction of the garment is indicated to be "yarn forward-USA". By this, in the context of the NAFTA, the fibers are spun into yarn, and the yarn woven into fabric in the United States. Further, you indicate that the fabric for the interfacing and trim will be imported from Korea. However, the trim for the PINK BUTTON FRONT BLOUSE will be "yarn forward-USA".

The applicable tariff provision for the pink and black dotted blouses will be 6206.40.3040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for women's or girls' blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses: Of man-made fibers: Other, Other: Woman's. The general rate of duty will be 28.4% ad valorem.

The applicable tariff provision for the tank-styled garment will be 6211.43.0060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotaated (HTSUSA), which provides for Other garments, women's or girls': of man-made fibers: blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses, sleeveless tank-styles and similar upper body garments, excluded from heading 6206. The general rate of duty will be 16.9% ad valorem.

The pink and black dotted garments qualify for preferential treatment under the NAFTA because materials used in the production of the goods undergoes the change in tariff classification required by General Note 12(t)/62.32, HTSUSA. The pink and black dotted garments will be entitled to a 16.3% rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements. The ivory garment, however, does not qualify since the trim fabric, made in Korea, does not undergo the appropriate change.

You specifically questioned whether the garments would meet the requirements of the NAFTA, notwithstanding the trim that does not undergo the appropriate tariff shift, based on the de minimis rule. They do not. The de minimis rule specifically states:

A good provided for in chapters 50 through 63, inclusive, of this schedule that does not originate because certain fibers or yarns used in the production of the component of the good that determines the tariff classification of the good do not undergo an applicable change in tariff classification, provided for in subdivisions (r),(s) and (t) of this note, shall nonetheless be considered to originate if the total weight of all such fibers or yarns in that component is not more than 7 percent of the total weight of that component. (HTSUS General note 12(f)(vi))

The de minimis exception is written specifically to allow for fibers or yarns that are an intrinsic part of the fabric, not for fabrics that are included in the garment itself.

There is, however, another rule that does apply to the two originating garments. Chapter 62, note 3 states:

For purposes of determining the origin of a good of this chapter, the rule applicable to that good shall only apply to the component that determines the tariff classification of the good, and such component must satisfy the tariff change requirement set out in the rule for that good. If the rule requires that the good must also satisfy the tariff change requirmenet for visible lining fabrics listed in chapter rule 1 for this chapter, such requqirement shall only apply to the visible lining fabric in the main body of the garment, excluding sleeves, which covers tha largest surface area, and shall not apply to removable linings.

Since the interfacing fabric is not the component that determines the classification, it does not have to meet the rule of origin, therefore, its presence will not prevent an otherwise originating garment from being considered originating.

It is based on this same rule that the ivory garment does not originate. Both the trim and the garment itself are of fabrics that would be classified in the same HTS number, therefore both fabrics are components that determine the classification. Since the Korean trim fabric does not meet the specific rule, and since the de minimis rule does not apply to fabric, the garment would not originate.

The tank top, however, may be subject to a reduced rate of duty based upon the Tariff Preference Levels (TPL) established in Section XI, Additional US Note 3(c) up to the annual quantities specified in subdivision (g)(ii) of note 3. Upon completion of the required documentation and up to the specified annual quantities, both styles may be eligible for the preferential rate of 16.3% ad valorem.

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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