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HQ 962275





November 12, 1998
CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 962275 jb

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

John N. Politis, Esq.
Politis & Politis
865 S. Figueroa St., Suite 2308
Los Angeles, CA 90017

RE: Country of origin determination for men's and women's knit garments; section 102.21(c)(2); tariff shift

Dear Mr. Politis:

This is in reply to your letter dated May 18, 1998, on behalf of your client Genexus International, Inc., wherein you ask for the appropriate country of origin determination for certain men's and women's knit garments, that is, T-shirts, pants, and suit-type jackets.

FACTS:

You state in your letter that your client will place orders to its buying agent in Hong Kong for wearing apparel which will be manufactured in Cambodia. The Hong Kong buying agent will then place your client's orders to other agents who have business connections in, and who transact business with manufacturers in Cambodia. The manufacturing operations are as follows:

China cotton greige goods are sourced

Cambodia greige goods are cut to shapes and patterns assembly into wearing apparel

Once the wearing apparel is fully assembled it is exported to Hong Kong for storage in a public warehouse. As your client receives orders from its buyers in the United States, your client will relay the orders to its buying agent in Hong Kong. The buying agent will make arrangements to withdraw the correct number of wearing apparel from the public warehouse and transport it to a conversion plant in Hong Kong which will dye and print the wearing apparel to your client's specifications. Once the dyeing and printing is completed, the wearing apparel will be packaged and exported to the United States.

Presently Cambodia is only required to issue a single Country of Origin Certificate for wearing apparel which is manufactured there. Although your client will eventually receive orders from its customers in the United States to cover the entire shipment, your client anticipates that the orders will be piecemeal, and not at one time. As such, your client will not have individual Certificates of Origin for the partial shipments to the United States. In that respect, you ask for guidance with respect to the requisite steps your client should follow at the Customs Service Ports of entry with respect to the appropriate Certificate of Origin so that the import shipments of wearing apparel are not unduly delayed for inadequate documentation.

ISSUE:

1. What is the country of origin of the submitted merchandise?

2. What documentation is required by Customs with respect to the appropriate certificate of origin for this merchandise?

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Origin

On December 8, 1994, the President signed into law the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. Section 334 of that Act (codified at 19 U.S.C. 3592) 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 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":

6101-6117 If the good is not knit to shape and consists of two or more component parts, a change to an assembled good of heading 6101 through 6117 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 knit men's and women's T-shirts are classified in heading 6109, HTSUS. The men's knit pants and suit-type jackets are classified in heading 6103, HTSUS, and the women's knit pants and suit-type jackets are classified in heading 6104, HTSUS. As the tariff shift directs us to the single country where the assembly operations occur, that is, in this case, Cambodia, the country of origin for the subject merchandise is Cambodia.

Certificate of Origin

A certificate of origin from Cambodia is not a requirement of entry. However, should a port request the certificate of origin [19 CFR 142.3 (a)(5)], it is recommended that you contact the requesting port concerning the reason for the request and ascertain whether other documentation, such as production records or bill of lading, could be submitted in place of the certificate of origin.

You should be advised that Cambodia is currently subject to quota restraints in category 331/631. There has been discussion of implementing a visa arrangement as a control for this quota restraint. This visa arrangement could be comprehensive and include categories other than 331/631. If a visa arrangement is implemented, an original visa would be required to be presented with each entry. In that event, it is the responsibility of the importer to make arrangements with the Government of Cambodia for the issuance of a visa for the quantity imported into the United States.

HOLDING:

The country of origin for the subject merchandise is Cambodia.

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 section 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished 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. In the event there is a change in the facts previously furnished, this may affect the determination of country of origin. Accordingly, if there is any change in the facts submitted 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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