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NY 808524

April 26, 1995

CLA-2-62:S:N:N5:360 808524


TARIFF NO.: 6204.44.4010

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 dresses from Mexico; Article 509

Dear Ms. Hamilton:

In your letter dated March 23, 1994, you requested a ruling on the status of women's dresses from Mexico under the NAFTA.

The submitted sample, style 3237WE1F, is a women's dress constructed from an upper portion of 100% cotton denim woven fabric and a bottom portion of 100% rayon woven fabric. It features short sleeves, a scoop neckline, a full front opening secured by eleven buttons and two chest patch pockets. The dress extends to mid-calf.

The cotton upper portion of the garment does not extend to the waist. You provided value and weight information to be used in determining the essential character of the dress. The upper portion weighs approximately 37.2% of the total weight, while the woven portion weighs 62.8%; the cotton portion represents approximately 24.3% of the total value, while the woven portion represents 75.7%. Based on these factors, the essential character of the garment is imparted by the rayon portion.

You also provided the following information required to make a determination as to whether the garment qualifies as originating under the NAFTA. The fabrics used in the construction of the garment are foreign imports as follows: the cotton denim fabric is from Hong Kong while the rayon fabric is from Japan. Further, you state that the cotton bodice components will be cut in the United States and sewn in Mexico; the skirt will be cut to shape in Mexico and all components will be sewn in Mexico.

The applicable tariff provision for style 3237WE1F will be 6204.44.4010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for women's or girls' suits, ensembles, suit-type jackets and blazers, dresses... Of artificial fibers: Other: Other, Women's. The general rate of duty will be 16.9% ad valorem.

The dress does not qualify for preferential treatment under the NAFTA because the Hong Kong and Japanese fabric that is used in the production of the goods is non-originating material which will not undergo the change in tariff classification required by General Note 12(t)/62.24, HTSUSA.

For this garment, the partial assembly in Mexico of components cut in the United States, may entitle the garment to be entered under subheading 9802.00.8055, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). Upon compliance with the documentary requirements of Customs Regulations [19 CFR 10.24, and 10.16(a)] the imported dress may be subject to duty upon the full value of the imported assembled article with allowances in duty for the cost or the value of the United States components incorporated therein. The information substantiating 9802.00.8055, HTS, must be submitted at the time of entry.

In addition, the garment may be subject to a reduced rate of duty based on the Tariff Preference Level, (TPL) if the shipment is accompanied by the required documentation executed by the government of Mexico, and if the quantity is within the yearly amount. The garment ma be eligible for the preferential rate of 11.2 % ad valorem.

Finally, you questioned the country of origin for the imported dress which is assembled from U.S. components in a NAFTA country prior to being reimported into the U.S. Section 134.1(g) of the interim regulations, defines a "good of a NAFTA country" as an article for which the country of origin is Canada, Mexico or the United States as determined under the NAFTA Marking Rules.

In this case, we find that the U.S. componnents are advanced in value or improved in condition as a result of the assembly operation in Mexico. Accordingly, pursuant to section 102.14 of the interim regulaations, the country of origin of the imported dress is Mexico, the last foreign country in which the good was advanced in value or improved in condition.

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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