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NY B84282

April 30, 1997

CLA-2-RR:NC:WA:353 B84282


Ms. Diane Stehl
Wells Lamont
6640 West Touhy Avenue
Niles, IL 60714-4587

RE: Classification and country of origin determination for eargear; 19 CFR 102.21(c)(1); wholly obtained or produced in a single country

Dear Ms. Stehl:

This is in reply to your letter dated April 7, 1997, requesting a classification and country of origin determination for eargear which will be imported into the United States.


The subject merchandise consists of a shaped knit component of synthetic fiber, approxamately 14 inches in length.

The manufacturing operations for the component is as follows:

Fabric of knit synthetic fiber of Taiwan origin is cut to shape in Taiwan which will be imported into the United States. It will then be sent to a U.S. production plant a which time this knit component, or "cover" will be assembled in to a "Eargear which is stated to a form of headwear in which it covers the head and ears.


What are the classification and country of origin of the subject merchandise?


The imported knit component has been cut to become incoprorated into eargear or earmuffs.

Customs has previously ruled on the classification of earmuffs as stated in HQ Ruling 086157 of December 22, 1989:

"The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The EN to heading 6114 incorporates within the grouping "other garments" aprons, boiler suits, clerical vestments, scholastic robes, etc. Excluded from this heading are those articles provided for by subsequent headings: socks, leggings, gloves, mittens, shawls, muffs, and so on. The EN for heading 6117 (clothing accessories) cites several articles closely resembling earmuffs: shawls, scarves, mufflers. Cf. the EN to heading 6117, HTSUSA (by specifically excluding headgear of heading 6505, the heading inferentially includes articles worn on the head but not defined as headgear). It is our opinion, therefore, that the heading for clothing accessories more specifically provides for earmuffs than the heading for other garments. See also HRL 085012 of August 7, 1989; HRL 085569 of December 21, 1989."

GRI 2(a) states:

"Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. ...."

It is the opinion of this office that the subject article, the knitted earmuff component, has the essential character of the complete or unfinished earmuff.

The applicable subheading for the knit earmuff component will be 6117.80.9540, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for "Other made up clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted; knitted or crocheted parts of garments or of clothing accessories: Other accessories: Other : Of man-made fibers: Other.". The rate of duty will be 15.2 percent ad valorem. The earmuff component falls within textile category designation 659.

Based upon international textile agreements products of Taiwan are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.


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 eargear or earmuff component was wholly obtained or produced in a single country, that is, Taiwan, country of origin is conferred in Taiwan.


The country of origin of the eargear or earmuff component 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 section 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1). This sections states that a ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177). 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.

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Martin Weiss at 212-466-5881.


Paul K. Schwartz
Chief, Textiles & Apparel Branch

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