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NY C88108

June 26, 1998

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:3:353 C88108


TARIFF NO.: 6309.00.0010, 9801.00.10, 6205.30.2070, 6203.43.4010

Mr. Philip T. Cowen

934 E. Levee Street

Suite 201

Brownsville, TX 78520

RE: The Tariff Classification of Soiled, Used Shirts and Pants imported from Mexico.

Dear Cowen:

In your letter dated May 12, 1998, on behalf of Campbell Textiles, Inc., you requested a classification ruling. Samples were provided and are being returned at your request.

The items in question are a woven 65% polyester/35% cotton shirt and pants that make up a uniform worn during the manufacture of batteries in Mexico. The shirt and pants are made in the United States, Puerto Rico and Haiti.

The shirt has short sleeves, six button closure down the front with a snap fastener at the neck, and two front button pockets. The pants have a a zippered front with a button closure at the top, belt loops, two front side slash pockets and two rear pockets, one with a button.

Workers in Mexico will be given seven sets of the uniform and will wear a clean one every day. There will be a name tag and uniform number noted on each shirt and pants. The soiled uniform will be left at the plant at the end of the workday. After six days, a packing list will be made of each worker's uniforms, which will be shipped to the United States for cleaning. The uniforms are being shipped to the United States because their washing could potentially result in water contaminated with lead. Your client has the ability to properly dispose of any contaminant.

Heading 6309 calls for "Worn clothing and other worn articles." Chapter 63, Note 3 states that:

"In order to be classified in this heading, the articles... must comply with both of the following requirements:

(i) They must show signs of appreciable wear; and

(ii) They must be entered in bulk or in bales, sacks or similar packings."

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to 6309 states that the merchandise "... must show signs of appreciable wear, whether or not they require cleaning or repair before use."

Based on your description of the operation, it appears that the uniforms are not imported in bulk, and they would not show signs of appreciable wear. Appreciable wear means that the garment must be considerably changed from its original appearance through use over an extended period of time, and although the article is not useless, it shows considerable deterioration from its original state. The uniform shirt and pants are merely soiled, and although used, are still useful goods that will continue to be worn for their original purpose. As the uniforms are not imported in bulk or appreciably worn, Heading 6309 is not applicable.

General Note 2 states that "The term 'customs territory of the United States', as used in the tariff schedule, includes only the States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico." Therefore, uniforms from the United States or Puerto Rico are treated as products of the United States for tariff purposes.

United States manufactured products are entitled to enter free of duty as American goods returned, upon compliance with Section 10.1, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. ยง10.1). 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.

Chapter 98, U.S. Notes (2) states "In the absence of a specific provision to the contrary, the tariff status of an article is not affected by the fact that it was previously imported into the customs territory of the United States and cleared through customs whether or not duty was paid upon such previous importation."

The uniform shirt and pants that are products of Haiti will be subject to duty upon each importation.

The applicable subheading for the used uniform shirt that is a product of Haiti will be 6205.30.2070, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Men's or boys' shirts: Of man-made fibers: Other: Other...Other: Other: Men's." The duty rate will be 30.2 cents per kilogram plus 26.9% ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the used uniform pants that is a product of Haiti will be 6203.43.4010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Men's or boys' suits, ensembles, suit-type jackets, blazers, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (other than swimwear): Trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts: Of synthetic fibers: Other: Other: Other: Other: Other...Trousers and breeches: Men's." The duty rate will be 29% ad valorem.

The uniform shirt falls within textile category designation 640; the uniform pants fall within textile category designation 647. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of Haiti under category 640 are subject to quota, but do not require a visa; products of Haiti under category 647 are not subject to quota or visa requirements.

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.

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 Kenneth Reidlinger at 212-466-5881.


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