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April 6, 1999

CLA-2-61:RR:NC:TA:354 D89377


TARIFF NO.: 6116.10.5510

Mr. Byung Moo Hwang
JBT Gloves, Inc.
4900 Corona Avenue
Vernon, California 90058

RE: The tariff classification of USA manufactured gloves sent to Korea to be latex dip coated. Applicability of subheadings 9802.00.50 and 9802.00.80, HTSUS.

Dear Mr. Hwang:

In your letter dated February 25, 1999, you requested a classification ruling concerning American made gloves that will be latex dip coated in Korea. A sample of the glove was submitted for examination.

You intend to ship USA manufactured string knit cotton gloves to Korea. In Korea the palmside of the glove will be coated with latex in a dipping process. The finished glove’s material content by weight will be 75% cotton and 25% latex. The glove will be available in sizes small, medium and large as styles 8421S, 8421M and 8421L.

You have requested clarification on the duty status of the further processing in Korea.

Subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS, provides for the assessment of duty on the value of repairs or alterations performed on articles returned to the U.S. after having been exported for that purpose. However, the application of this tariff provision is precluded in circumstances where the operations performed abroad destroy the identity of the articles or create new or commercially different articles. See, A.F. Burstrom v. United States, 44 CCPA 27, C.A.D. 631 (1956), aff'd, C.D. 1752, 36 Cust.Ct. 46 (1956); and Guardian Industries Corporation v. United States, 3 CIT 9 (1982), Slip Op. 82?4 (Jan. 5, 1982). Subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS, treatment is also precluded where the exported articles are incomplete for their intended use and the foreign processing operation is a necessary step in the preparation or manufacture of finished articles. See, Dolliff & Company, Inc. v. United States, 81 Cust.Ct. 1, C.D. 4755, 455 F. Supp. 618 (1978), aff'd, 66 CCPA 77, C.A.D. 1225, 599 F.2d 1015 (1979). Articles entitled to this partial duty exemption are dutiable only upon the cost or value of the foreign repairs or alterations, provided the documentary requirements of section 10.8, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §10.8), are satisfied.

We have previously held that coating operations which create a new or different article exceed an alteration. See, Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 554883 dated June 16, 1989, which held that coating polypropylene film with acrylic or saran creates a new article with a different use, thereby precluding eligibility for the duty exemption available under subheading 9802.00.50, HTS. See also HRL 555766.

In the instant case, the foreign coating does not constitute an alteration within the meaning of subheading 9802.00.50, HTS. Coating the glove changes its characteristics and use. The latex coating of the glove provides resistance to liquids on the palmside and an anti?slip grip. Additionally the glove is stronger and more durable. Therefore, the gloves subjected to a coating process will not be entitled to the duty exemption available under subheading 9802.00.50, HTS.

Subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, provides a partial duty exemption for: [a]rticles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, the product of the United States, which (a) were exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape, or otherwise, and (c) have not been advanced in value or improved in condition abroad except by being assembled and except by operations incidental to the assembly process, such as cleaning, lubrication, and painting. All three requirements of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, must be satisfied before a component may receive a duty allowance. An article entered under this tariff provision is subject to duty upon the full cost or value of the imported assembled article, less the cost or value of the U.S. components assembled therein, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of section 10.24, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.24). Section 10.16(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(a)), provides that the assembly operation performed abroad may consist of any method used to join or fit together solid components, such as welding, soldering, riveting, force fitting, gluing, laminating, sewing, or the use of fasteners. However, the mixing or combining of liquids, gases, chemicals, food ingredients, and amorphous solids with each other or with solid components is not regarded as an assembly.

We have previously held that coating operations are not acceptable assembly operations. See, HRL 555499 dated June 6, 1990 (extruding xanthate cellulose solution over U.S. origin paper which regenerates into a cellulose coating is not an acceptable assembly operation, but is actually a mere coating operation); HRL 554357 dated December 3, 1986, HRL 554416 dated March 6, 1987, and HRL 554577 dated June 25, 1987 (merely coating wire with plastic cannot be characterized as an acceptable assembly or joinder of separate solid components); and HRL 067533 dated October 30, 1981 (coating a glove liner with latex is not an acceptable assembly of solid components).

In the instant case, we find that latex coating of the glove does not constitute an acceptable assembly operation for the purposes of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS. The application of the latex does not involve the joinder of two solid components, but actually involves the application of the liquid latex by spraying onto the glove or dipping the glove into a bath of liquid latex.

Based on the information and samples submitted, we are of the opinion that the glove subjected to the coating operation has been advanced in value and improved in condition by operations which exceed an alteration and are not acceptable assembly operations. Therefore, this glove is not entitled to the partial duty exemption available under subheading 9802.00.50 or subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, but is dutiable on its full value.

The applicable subheading for the gloves will be 6116.10.5510, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Gloves, mittens and mitts, knitted or crocheted: impregnated, coated or covered with plastics or rubber: other: without fourchettes: other: containing 50 percent or more by weight of cotton, man-made fibers or other textile fibers, or any combination thereof . . . subject to cotton restraints. The duty rate will be 13.6 percent ad valorem.

The gloves fall within textile category designation 331. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of Korea are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

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 Brian Burtnik at 212-637-7083.


Robert B. Swierupski

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