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NY B89260

October 1, 1997

MAR-2-61:RR:NC:TA:354 B89260


Mr. Ross W. Blair
Corporate Counsel
Fruit of the Loom
One Fruit of the Loom Drive
P.O. Box 90015
Bowling Green, Kentucky 421102-9015

RE: The country of origin marking for various apparel products; 19 CFR 102.21(c)(2).

Dear Mr. Blair:

This is in response to your inquiry of September 4, 1997, filed on behalf of (1) Union Underwear Company, Inc., dba Fruit of the Loom, (2) Fruit of the Loom, Texas, Inc. and (3) Pro Player, Inc., fka Daniel Young International Corporation. Your inquiry concerns country of origin labeling requirements for various apparel products including underwear, printable activewear, outerwear, casualwear and childrenswear. There were no samples submitted for examination.

Your letter states that Fruit of the Loom is a U.S. based, vertically integrated apparel manufacturer which forms knit fabric in the U.S. The formed fabric is sent off-shore where it is cut and assembled into various garments. You stated the following example: U.S. made fabric is cut to shape in Mexico, followed by assembly of the cut pieces into finished garments in Mexico.

Advice is being requested on whether the garments may be marked in the following ways: (1) "Assembled in (country of final assembly) of U.S.A. fabric" or (2) "Assembled in Mexico of U.S.A. fabric" specifically for the Mexican example presented in your letter.

Pursuant to Section 334 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (codified at 19 USC Section 3592), new rules of origin were effective for textile products entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after July 1, 1996. These rules were published in the Federal Register, 60 Fed. Reg. 46188 (September 5, 1995). Section 102.21, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Section 102.21), sets forth the general rules to determine country of origin. Thus, the country of origin of a textile product is determined by a hierarchy of rules set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(5) of Section 102.21.

Section 102.21(c)(1) sets forth the general rule for determining the country of origin of a textile or apparel product in which the good was wholly obtained or produced. As the subject garments will not be wholly obtained or produced in a single country, this section is inapplicable.

Section 102.21(c)(2) provides for instances where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under Section 102.21(c)(1). Section 102.21(c)(2) provides, in pertinent part:

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.

Section 102.21(e) provides, in pertinent part:

Specific rules by tariff classification. 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 (1) If the good is not knit to shape and consists of two or more component parts, a change to 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.

Based on the information provided to Customs, we believe that the subject garments are classifiable under various Chapter 61 Headings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Pursuant to Sections 102.21(c)(2) and 102.21(e), the country of origin of the subject garments is the country where the said garments are wholly assembled. In the example you presented, Mexico is the country of origin.

Effective August 5, 1996, section 134.43(e), Customs Regulations {19 C.F.R. 134,43(e)}, was amended and now provides that:

[w]here an article is produced as a result of an assembly operation and the country of origin of such article is determined under this chapter to be the country in which the article was finally assembled, such article may be marked, as appropriate, in a manner such as the following:

(1) Assembled in (country of final assembly); (2) Assembled in (country of final assembly) from components of (name of country or countries of origin of all components); or
(3) Made in, or product of, (country of final assembly).

See 61 FR 28980 (T.D. 96-48) Therefore, the subject garments may be marked (depending on the country of assembly) in a manner such as the following as proposed by your office: (1) "Assembled in (country of final assembly) of U.S.A. fabric" or (2) "Assembled in Mexico of U.S.A. fabric" specifically for the example presented in your letter. Provided the fabric from which the garments are made is entirely of U.S. origin.

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 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.

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

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 Brian Burtnik at 212-466-5880.


Robert B. Swierupski

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