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NY 806214

February 21, 1995

CLA-2-41:S:N:N5:353 806214


TARIFF NO.: 4108.00.0000

Mr. J. Epstein
W.N. Epstein & Co., Inc.
PO Box 45187
St. Louis, MO. 63145

RE: NAFTA eligibility of chamois leather made in Mexico and imported from Holland

Dear Mr. Epstein:

In your letter dated January 16, 1995, received in our office on January 24, 1995, you requested a ruling on the NAFTA eligibility of chamois leather made in Mexico and imported from Holland under the NAFTA on behalf of your client Schroeder & Tremayne, Inc.

You state that the tannery in Mexico in addition to importing directly to the United States also ships chamois leather to its warehouse in Holland for further distribution in the European Market. This chamois leather shipped to Holland is identical in every respect to the chamois leather imported by your client from Mexico. In order for the tannery in Mexico to balance worldwide inventories, it would at times, be practical for Schroeder & Tremayne to import chamois leather from the inventory of goods which were previously made in Mexico and subsequently shipped to Holland.

The chamois leather at issue is made in Mexico, and not intended for export to the United States at the time of shipment from Mexico, yet later imported into the United States from Holland. No operations are performed on the articles while they are in Holland, other than unloading, storage, and reloading.

You also request the NAFTA eligibility of the above described chamois leather if any, or all of the following operations were to be performed in Holland: sorting, grading, and repacking.

General note 12(l) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States the following for Transshipments: "A good shall not be considered to be an originating good by reason of having undergone production that satisfies the requirements of this note if, subsequent to that production, the good undergoes further production or any other operations outside the territories of the NAFTA parties, other than unloading, reloading, or any other operation necessary to preserve it in good condition or to transport the good to the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States." Also, as discussed in our telephone conversation of February 15, 1995, the good(s) shall have not left the Customs custody of Holland.

The applicable tariff provision for the leather chamois will be 4108.00.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for Leather of animals, without hair on, other than leather of 4108 or 4109: Chamois (including combination chamois) leather. The general rate of duty will be 4.6 percent ad valorem..

Subject to General note 12(l), and the good(s) not having left the Customs custody of Holland, the leather chamois from Mexico is considered as being wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Mexico, will meet the requirements of HTSUSA General Note 12(b)(i), and will therefore be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

Operations such as sorting, grading and repacking go beyond what is allowed in General note 12(l) and therefore such operations performed on the leather chamois from Mexico in Holland would not entitle it to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA.

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.

This ruling letter is binding only as to the party to whom it is issued and may be relied on only by that party.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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