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NY D81667

September 9, 1998

CLA-2-71:RR:NC:SP:233 D81667


TARIFF NO.: 7113.11.5000

Mr. Chet Vogt
P.O. Box 1333
Turlock, CA 95381-1333

RE: The tariff classification of sterling silver belt buckles and earrings from Mexico.

Dear Mr. Vogt:

In your letter dated August 12, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise consists of sterling silver belt buckles and earrings produced by your company in the United States. These items will then be shipped to Mexico for additional enhancements and adornments. Upon completion they will be returned to the United States for sale and distribution. The value of the cast buckle leaving your shop is forty dollars. The finishing process may include engraving, the addition of gold adornments, the final polishing, or any combination of these processes. The value added to the product may vary from five to forty dollars per buckle.

The applicable subheading for the sterling silver belt buckles and earrings will be 7113.11.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for articles of jewelry and parts thereof... of silver, whether or not plated or clad with other precious metal: other: other. The rate of duty will be 5.3% ad valorem.

To be eligible for tariff preferences under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), goods must be "originating goods" within the rules of origin in General Note 12(b), HTSUS. Your belt buckles and earrings are goods wholly produced in the United States and Mexico. Therefore, your silver jewelry is eligible for preferential treatment under the NAFTA.

Regarding country of origin marking, section 102.14 of the Customs Regulations states that:
No good, last advanced in value or improved in condition outside the United States has United States origin. If under any other provision of this part such a good is determined to be a good of the United States, that determination will be disregarded and the country of origin of the good will be the last foreign country in which the good was advanced in value or improved in condition. "Advanced in value" is defined in section 102.1(a) of the regulations as "an increase in the value of a good as a result of production with respect to that good, other than by means of those "minor processing" operations.

The silver jewelry has been advanced in value and improved in condition as a result of the polishing, engraving and addition of gold adornments. Accordingly, pursuant to section 102.14 of the regulations, the country of origin of the silver jewelry is Mexico. For purposes of the country of origin requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304, the imported silver jewelry must be marked "Mexico."

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 Lawrence Mushinske at 212-466-5739.


Robert B. Swierupski

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