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HQ 560810

March 25, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:SM 560810 KSG


TARIFF NO.: U.S. Note 2(b), subchapter II, Chapter 98

Catherine L. Holmes
The A.W. Fenton Company, Inc.
P.O. Box 360614
Columbus, Ohio 43236-0614

RE: boots; U.S. note 2(b); country of origin marking

Dear Ms. Holmes:

This is in reference to your letter received January 12, 1998, requesting a binding ruling on behalf of your client, Rocky Shoes & Boots Co., Inc. You have submitted two samples. You requested that the samples be returned.


Your client intends to export U.S. origin components to the Dominican Republic where they will be made into finished boots. The U.S. origin components are: leather that is tanned, dyed and sanded in the U.S.; textile fabric; footbeds; linings; soles; laces; eyelets; hardware; glue; thread; and waterproof tape. The leather, textile fabric, footbeds and linings are cut in the Dominican Republic. The soles, laces, eyelets, hardware, glue, threads, waterproof tape and all other parts are shipped from the U.S. to the Dominican Republic in condition ready for assembly.

The processing done in the Dominican Republic includes glueing, stitching, attaching hangtags and packaging in addition to cutting. All the components will be shipped directly from the U.S. to the Dominican Republic without entering the commerce of any other country.


Whether the boots are eligible for a duty preference under U.S. Note 2(b), subchapter II, Chapter 98, HTSUS.

What is the correct country of origin marking of the boots?

I. U.S. Note 2(b) Eligibility

Section 222 of the Customs and Trade Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-382) amended U.S. Note 2, subchapter II, Chapter 98, HTSUS (U.S. Note 2(b)), to provide for the duty free treatment of articles (other than textile and apparel articles, and petroleum and petroleum products) which are assembled or processed in a Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) beneficiary country (BC) wholly of fabricated components or ingredients (except water) of U.S. origin.

U.S. Note 2(b), provides as follows:

(b) No article (except a textile article, apparel article, or petroleum, or any product derived from petroleum, provided for in heading 2709 or 2710) may be treated as a foreign article, or as subject to duty, if--

(I) the article is--

(A) assembled or processed in whole of fabricated components that are a product of the United States, or

(B) processed in whole of ingredients (other than water) that are a product of the United States, in a beneficiary country; and

(ii) neither the fabricated components, materials or ingredients, after exportation from the United States, nor the article itself, before importation into the
United States, enters the commerce of any foreign country other than a beneficiary country.

As used in the note, the term "beneficiary country" means a country listed in General Note 7(a), HTSUS. The Dominican Republic is listed in General Note 7(a), HTSUS, as a designated beneficiary country.

Customs has previously held that footwear are not textile and apparel articles for purposes of U.S. Note 2(b), regardless of whether they are subject to textile agreements. See T.D. 91-88, 25 Cust. Bull. 45 (1991). Therefore, the boots are not excluded from duty-free treatment under U.S. Note 2(b).

With regard to the operations performed in the Dominican Republic, the assembly and processing operations which consist of cutting the fabric and leather and assembling the cut pieces and other components are encompassed by the operations specified in Note 2(b). Therefore, if, in fact, all of the materials used to produce the boots are of U.S. origin and have been shipped directly to the Dominican Republic and the articles at issue are shipped directly to the U.S. without entering into the commerce of any foreign country other than a BC, the boots will be entitled to duty-free treatment under Note 2(b), provided all documentation requirements are met.

2. Country of origin marking requirements under Note 2(b)

U.S. Note 2(b) prohibits Customs from treating these articles as foreign. The provisions of 19 U.S.C. 1304 require that imported foreign articles be marked with their country of origin. Pursuant to telex 9264071, dated September 28, 1990, there is no basis for requiring that the articles be marked with the Caribbean country of processing or assembly. Therefore, the boots are not required to be marked with the Caribbean country of assembly.


The imported boots are eligible for duty free treatment under U.S. Note 2(b) provided the documentation requirements set forth in telex 9264071 (copy enclosed) are met. The boots are not required to be marked with the Caribbean country of assembly.

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


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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