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HQ 961238

April 21, 1998
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 961238 jb


Mr. Owen Hairsine
Zeotrope Holdings, Ltd.
12993 80th Avenue
Surrey, British Columbia
V3W 3B1 Canada

RE: Modification of NY C81609, dated November 19, 1997; country of origin of nursing pads; 102.21(c)(2); tariff shift

Dear Mr. Hairsine:

On, November 19, 1997, our New York office issued to you New York Ruling Letter (NY) C81609 addressing the classification and country of origin of two styles of cotton nursing pads. A review of the file has revealed that although the classification determination for the subject merchandise is accurate, an inaccurate determination was made with respect to the origin of the subject merchandise. Additionally, we note that your question with respect to coverage under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for this merchandise was left unanswered. Accordingly, this letter will set out the proper analysis and country of origin determination for this merchandise.


The subject merchandise consists of two styles of nursing pads, one with a breathable waterproof nylon backing, and one without this backing, made of 100 percent cotton woven fabric. As stated in your letter, dated November 2, 1997, the manufacturing operations for this merchandise are as follows:

China cotton flannelette fabric is formed (for both styles)

United States polyurethane coated nylon taffeta is formed (for style with waterproof backing only)

Canada cotton flannelette is cut into six pieces; three pieces with a triangle shape and three pieces with a half moon shape for styles with waterproof backing only, the waterproof breathable nylon is cut into two pieces (a triangle and a half moon) triangle and moon pieces are joined together using an off the arm seamier sewing machine for styles with waterproof backing only, the two nylon pieces are joined on a single needle sewing machine edge of the nursing pad is closed by using a serging sewing machine for styles with waterproof backing only, the cotton and nylon are attached by serging the edges of both pieces six nursing pads are packaged


1. Does the subject merchandise qualify for NAFTA treatment?

2. What is the proper country of origin for the subject merchandise?


NAFTA eligibility

The subject nursing pads undergo processing operations in Canada which is a party to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). General Note 12, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), incorporates Article 401 of the NAFTA into the HTSUSA. Note 12(a) provides, in pertinent part:

(i) Goods that originate in the territory of a NAFTA party under the terms of subdivision (b) of this note and that qualify to be marked as goods of Canada under the terms of the marking rules... and are entered under a subheading for which a rate of duty appears in the "Special" subcolumn followed by the symbol "CA" in parentheses, are eligible for such duty rate... . [Emphasis added]

Accordingly, the nursing pads at issue will be eligible for the "Special" "CA" rate of duty provided it is a NAFTA "originating" good under General Note 12(b), HTSUSA, and it qualifies to be marked as a good of Canada. Note 12(b) provides in pertinent part,

For the purposes of this note, goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for the tariff treatment and quantitative limitations set forth in the tariff schedule as "goods originating in the territory of a NAFTA party" only if--

(i) they are goods wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States; or

(ii) they have been transformed in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States so that--

(A) except as provided in subdivision (f) of this note, each of the non-originating materials used in the production of such goods undergoes a change in tariff classification described in subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) of this note or the rules set forth therein, or

(B) the goods otherwise satisfy the applicable requirements of subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) where no change in tariff classification is required, and the goods satisfy all other requirements of this note; or

(iii) they are goods produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States exclusively from originating materials; or

The subject merchandise qualifies for NAFTA treatment only if the provisions of General Note 12(b)(ii)(A) are met, that is, if the merchandise is transformed in the territory of Canada so that the non-originating material (the fabric formed in China) undergoes a change in tariff classification as described in subdivision (t).

As the nursing pads are classifiable in subheading 6217.10.9510, HTSUSA, subdivision (t), Chapter 62, rule 38, applies. That note states that:

A change to headings 6213 through 6217 from any other chapter, except from headings 5106 through 5113, 5204 through 5212, 5307 through 5308 or 5310 through 5311, chapter 54, or headings 5508 through 5516, 5801 through 5802 or 6001 through 6002, provided that the good is both cut and sewn or otherwise assembled in the territory of one or more of the NAFTA parties.

When the fabric for the subject nursing pads leave China it is classifiable within headings 5204 through 5212. As the headings covering woven fabrics of cotton are excepted by subdivision (t), chapter 62, rule 38, the terms of the note are not met. Accordingly, the subject nursing pads do not qualify for NAFTA treatment.

Country of origin

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 and 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." As the subject merchandise is not wholly obtained or produced in a single country, territory or insular possession, paragraph (c)(1) of Section 102.21 is inapplicable.

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 the 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:"

6215-6217 If the good consists of two or more component parts, a change to an assembled good of heading 6215 through 6217 from unassembled components, provided that the change is the result of the good being wholly assembled in a single country, territory, or insular possession.

The subject merchandise is classified in heading 6217, HTSUS. As the subject nursing pads are wholly assembled in a single country, Canada, the country of origin of the nursing pads is Canada.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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