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NY C86600

April 29, 1998

MAR-2 RR:NC:3:353 C86600


Ms. Karen J. Schiller
MSAS Customs Logistics Inc.
10205 N.W. 19th Street
Suite 101
Miami, FL 33172


Dear Ms. Schiller:

This is in response to your letter dated April 2, 1998, on behalf of Renfro Corporation, requesting a ruling on the labeling requirements for imported girls' socks which are pressed and packaged or assembled from U.S. components in Honduras. For purposes of this response, this office is assuming that you were requesting a determination as to country of origin, country of origin marking, and FTC labeling requirements. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

The item in question is a girls' knit sock made from cotton or cotton/polyester yarn that is imported from Pakistan and knit into socks in the United States. They are sent to Honduras where they are either pressed and packaged for retail sale, or have a raschel lace-like trim attached, and then are pressed and packaged for retail sale.

The applicable heading for the girls' socks will be 6115, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Panty hose, tights, stockings, socks and other hosiery, including stockings for varicose veins, and footwear without applied soles, knitted or crocheted." They are considered textiles for Customs purposes.

The foreign yarn undergoes processes of manufacture into socks in the United States. 19 CFR 10.12(e) Product of the United States declares that a:

"product of the United States" is an article manufactured within the Customs territory of the United States and may consist wholly of United States components or materials, of United States and foreign components or materials, or wholly of foreign components or materials. If the article consists wholly or partially of foreign components or materials, the manufacturing process must be such that the foreign components or materials have been substantially transformed into a new and different article, or have been merged into a new and different article.

In the instant case, there is a substantial transformation when the yarn is made into socks, making them products of the United States.

Regarding the girls' socks that are pressed and packaged in Honduras, this office considers the pressing of the girls' socks to be part of the packaging operation. United States manufactured products which are merely packaged abroad without any further processing are entitled to enter free of duty as American goods returned, upon compliance with Section 10.1, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.1). Heading 9801 allows products of the United States when returned after having been exported, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad, to be entered free of duty.

The girls' socks which are pressed and packaged in Honduras are goods of the United States for marking purposes. Accordingly, they will not be required to have any country of origin marking pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1304 when imported into the United States.

The girls' socks that are shipped to Honduras, have a raschel lace-like trim attached, and then are pressed and packaged for retail sale fall under Chapter 98, Subchapter II. The country of origin is determined by 19 CFR 12.130(c) which states, inter alia:

In order to have a single definition of the term "product of" and, therefore, a single country of origin for a textile or textile product,... merchandise which falls within the purview of Chapter 98, Subchapter II, Note 2, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, may not, upon its return to the U.S., be considered a product of the U.S.

The country of origin of the girls' socks that have a raschel lace-like trim attached, and then are pressed and packaged in Honduras, is Honduras.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

It should be noted that textile fiber products imported into the U.S. must be labeled in accordance with the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act (15 U.S.C. 70 through 70k) and the rules promulgated thereunder by the Federal Trade Commission. Questions concerning fiber content labeling requirements are covered under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act. Therefore, we suggest that you contact the Federal Trade Commission, Division of Enforcement, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20508, as to label marking requirements.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 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 Kenneth Reidlinger at 212-466-5881.


Robert B. Swierupski

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