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NY C80096

October 24, 1997

CLA-2-62:RR:NC:WA:353: C80096


TARIFF NO.: 6210.10.5000; 6211.42.0081; 9801.00.1010; 9906.62.17

Ms. Mary E. Keller
A.W. Fenton Company, Inc.
1452 Donaldson Road
P.O. Box 75029
Cincinnati, Ohio 45275-0029

RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of aprons from Mexico; Article 509 and a lab coat from China.

Dear Ms. Keller:

In your letter dated September 17, 1997, received in our office on September 27, 1997, you requested a ruling on behalf of your client West Chester Marketing, Inc., on the status of two aprons from Mexico under the NAFTA and one lab coat from China. Samples were submitted for examination.

Three articles are at issue and are described as Style No. A2836D2 - a cotton denim apron, 28 x 36 inches, with metal grommets & string ties featuring a right hip pocket; Style No. A2433K - a cotton duck apron, 24 x 33 inches, flame retardant, featuring sewn on string ties and Style No. SQ1 - a lab coat of polypropylene featuring one chest pocket, two hip pockets, full front opening with plastic snap closures to the neck, rib knit collar and cuffs. You state that the lab coat will be worn by American Red Cross members in drawing blood samples and will be sourced in China. Upon examination it was determined that both apron samples were made up of woven fabric and the lab coat was made up of nonwoven fabric.

You state that West Chester Marketing has advised you that the raw materials, including the yarn from which the fabric was made, fabric, thread and cardboard packing cases for the aprons are made in the United States and that these materials are exported to Grupo Accion De Oaxaca in Oaxaca, Mexico where they will be cut and sewn into finished articles, packed in the provided cases and shipped to back to West Chester Marketing in Cincinnati.

Note 8 to Chapter 62 states that "Garments which cannot be identified as either men's or boys' garments or as women's or girls' garments are to be classified in the headings covering women's or girls' garments.

The applicable tariff provision for Styles A2836D2 and A2433K will be 6211.42.0081, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for "Track suits, ski-suits and swimwear; other garments: Other garments, women"s or girls': Of cotton: Other". The general rate of duty will be 8.4 percent ad valorem.

Each of the non-originating materials used to make Styles A2836D2 and A2433K, has satisfied the changes in tariff classification required under HTSUSA General Note 12(t)/35. The aprons will be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements as provided for under tariff provision 9906.62.17, HTS, which provides for: "Goods of Mexico, under general note 12 of the tariff schedule: Women's or girls' track suits and other garments, of cotton (provided for in subheading 6211.42): Other".

If the cardboard packing cases sent to Mexico, stated to be of United States origin, are returned without having been advanced in value or improved in condition while abroad, then they will be entitled to duty-free treatment under subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUSA, provided the documentary requirements of Section 10.1, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.1), are met.

In regards to the lab coat, Customs has consistently stated in prior rulings that in order for a garment to be properly classifiable in subheading 6210.10.5000, HTSUSA, it has to be specially designed for use in "contaminated areas". In addition to the specialized design features, Customs also looks to whether the marketing, advertising, and sale of the garment are directed toward the particular uses for which the garment is claimed to be designed. In this instance, the lab coat has design features which appear to adapt it for use in contaminated areas. These features include a snug fit at the rib knit neck, snug fitting rib knit cuffs on long sleeves and ample coverage for the torso. Accordingly, if this garment offers protection and this is established by evidence of commercial acceptance, which you assert in its sale to the American Red Cross, then classification under subheading 6210.10.5000, HTSUSA, is proper.

The applicable tariff provision for Style SQ1 will be 6210.10.5000, HTS, which provides for "Garments, made up from fabrics of heading 5602, 5603, 5903, 5906, or 5907: Other: Nonwoven disposable apparel designed for use in hospitals, clinics, laboratories or contaminated areas". The rate of duty will be 4.4 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181).

This ruling letter is binding only as to the party to whom it is issued and may be relied on only by that party.

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.


Robert B. Swierupski

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