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HQ 960803





April 14, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 960803 GGD

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

Michael J. Laska
Mercury Luggage Manufacturing
4843 Victor Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32207

RE: Country of Origin Determinations for Backpacks and Duffel Bag; 19 CFR 102.21(c)(4); Most Important Assembly or Manufacturing Process

Dear Mr. Laska:

This is in response to your letter dated June 18, 1997, requesting country of origin determinations for three backpacks and one duffel bag which have been, and will continue to be, imported into the United States on an ongoing basis on or after July 1, 1996. Samples were submitted for examination with the request.

FACTS:

The four articles at issue are three styles of backpacks - identified as styles DH-1010, DH-7722, and DH-4403 - and one style of duffel bag - style 8331-ASST. The merchandise is composed of polyester material, buckles, zippers, webbing, and embroidery, all of which are sourced in Taiwan. In addition to these materials, style DH-7722 has a bottom panel and a small amount of trim that are composed of suede (also sourced in Taiwan). The backpacks and duffel bag are all classifiable as travel bags in subheading 4202.92.30, HTSUSA. "Multiple Declarations" prepared by the Taiwanese manufacturer state that the manufacturing operations are as follows:

BACKPACK STYLE NUMBER DH-1010

TAIWAN

- material is sourced (100 percent polyester fabric, buckles, zippers, webbing, and embroidery; - fabric is cut into component pieces;
- first component: front panel (including pockets with embroidered "Duck Head" logo) and zipper are sewn together; - second component: back panel - including shoulder straps with embroidered "Duck Head" logo, webbing, and buckle - is sewn together;
- third component: bottom panel with gussets and zipper are sewn together.

CHINA

- front panel, back panel, and bottom panel with gussets are sewn together;
- loose threads are cut;
- articles are packed into shipping cartons.

BACKPACK STYLE NUMBER DH-7722

TAIWAN

- material is sourced (100 percent polyester fabric, buckles, zippers, webbing, embroidery, and suede); - fabric is cut into component pieces;
- first component: front panel, including gussets and pockets with embroidered "Duck Head" logo, and zipper are sewn together;
- second component: back panel, including shoulder straps with embroidered "Duck Head" logo, webbing, and buckle are sewn together;
- third component: bottom panel is sewn.

CHINA

- front panel, back panel, and bottom panel are sewn together;
- loose threads are cut;
- articles are packed into shipping cartons.

BACKPACK STYLE NUMBER DH-4403

TAIWAN

- material is sourced (100 percent polyester fabric, buckles, zippers, webbing, and embroidery; - fabric is cut into component pieces;
- first component: body panel, including front panel (with pockets), back panel (with shoulder straps and flap with embroidered "Duck Head" logo), zipper, webbing, and buckle are sewn together;
- second component: bottom panel is sewn.

CHINA

- body panel and bottom panel are sewn together; - loose threads are cut;
- articles are packed into shipping cartons.

DUFFEL BAG STYLE NUMBER 8331-ASST

TAIWAN

- material is sourced (100 percent polyester fabric, buckles, zippers, webbing, and woven label); - fabric is cut into component pieces;
- first component: body panel (including front panel with pockets, back panel, and bottom panel) with zippers, webbing, and woven label are sewn together; - second component: gussets, with shoulder strap, buckle, and webbing are sewn together;

CHINA

- body panel and gussets are sewn together; - loose threads are cut;
- articles are packed into shipping cartons.

ISSUE:

What is the country of origin of the merchandise?

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

On December 8, 1994, the President signed into law the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. Section 334 of that Act provides new rules of origin for textiles and apparel entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on or after July 1, 1996. On September 5, 1995, Customs published Section 102.21, Customs Regulations, in the Federal Register, implementing Section 334 (60 FR 46188). Thus, effective July 1, 1996, the country of origin of a textile or apparel product shall be determined by sequential application of the general rules set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) through (5) of section 102.21.

Paragraph (c)(1) states that "The country of origin of a textile or apparel product is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was wholly obtained or produced." Since none of the merchandise is wholly obtained or produced in a single country, territory or insular possession, paragraph (c)(1) is not applicable.

Paragraph (c)(2) states that "Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which each foreign material incorporated in that good underwent an applicable change in tariff classification, and/or met any other requirement, specified for the good in paragraph (e) of this section."

Paragraph (e) states that "The following rules shall apply for purposes of determining the country of origin of a textile or apparel product under paragraph (c)(2) of this section:"

4202.92.15-4202.92.30.....A change to subheading 4202.92.15 through 4202.92.30 from any other heading, provided that the change is the result of the good being wholly assembled in a single country, territory, or insular possession.

The three styles of backpacks are classified in subheading 4202.92.3020, and the duffel bag is classified in subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUSA. Since none of the merchandise is wholly assembled in a single country, however, the terms of the tariff shift are not met.

Paragraph (c)(3) states that "Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1) or (2) of this section:

(i) If the good was knit to shape, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was knit; or

(ii) Except for goods of heading 5609, 5807, 5811, 6213, 6214, 6301 through 6306, and 6308, and subheadings 6209.20.5040, 6307.10, 6307.90, and 9404.90, if the good was not knit to shape and the good was wholly assembled in a single country, territory or insular possession, the country of origin of the good is the country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was wholly assembled.

Since the merchandise is neither knit to shape, nor wholly assembled in a single country, section 102.21(c)(3) is not applicable.

Section 102.21(c)(4) states that "Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1), (2) or (3) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the most important assembly or manufacturing process occurred."

With respect to backpack style numbers DH-1010, DH-7722, and DH-4403, the most important assembly process occurs in Taiwan. There, for style DH-1010, the front panel (including pockets with embroidery) and the zipper are sewn together, the back panel (including shoulder straps with embroidery, webbing and buckle) is sewn together, and the bottom panel with gussets and zipper are sewn together. For style DH-7722, Taiwan is where the front panel, including gussets and pockets with embroidery and the zipper are sewn together; the back panel (including shoulder straps with embroidery, webbing, and buckle) is sewn together; and where the bottom panel is sewn. Taiwan is where, for style DH-4403, the body panel - including the front panel (with pockets) and the back panel (with shoulder straps and flap with embroidery, zipper, webbing, and buckle) is sewn together, and where the bottom panel is sewn.

In the case of duffel bag style number 8331-ASST, the most important assembly process also occurs in Taiwan, where the body panel (including front panel with pockets, the back panel, and the bottom panel) with zippers, webbing, and woven label are sewn together; and where the gussets with shoulder strap, buckle, and webbing are sewn together.

HOLDING:

The country of origin of backpack style numbers DH-1010, DH-7722, and DH-4403, and of duffel bag style number 8331-ASST, is Taiwan.

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1), which states that each ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished and incorporated in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

Should it be subsequently determined that the information furnished is not complete and does not comply with 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1), the ruling will be subject to modification or revocation. A change in the facts previously furnished may affect the determination of country of origin. Thus, if there is any change in the facts provided to Customs, it is recommended that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2.

Sincerely,

John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division


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