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NY F87578

June 13, 2000

CLA-2-62:RR:NC:3:353 F87578


TARIFF NO.: 6217.10.9530

Ms. Laura Deniz
Evans and Wood & Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 610005
DFW Airport, TX 75261

RE: The tariff classification of a Mum Backer from Taiwan.

Dear Ms. Deniz:

In your letter dated May 16, 2000, on behalf of Audria’s Crafts, you requested a classification and assist ruling.

The submitted sample is called a Mum Backer. The item consists of an 6 inch diameter piece of circular cardboard to which is sewn ribbon streamers that are approximately 2 ½ feet in length and triangle shaped folded ribbons (points) that surround the cardboard’s circumference. The ribbon is constructed of woven acetate and is approximately 1 ¼ inches wide. No style designation was provided with the submitted sample. The Mum Backer is unfinished, the center of the cardboard circle is blank. You state that the Mum Backer will be used at “Homecoming” football games. An individual will buy the unfinished item and attach an artificial mum to the cardboard and attach charms, whistles and other items to the streamers. Females wear the completed mum backer affixed to a blouse, top, sweater or coat. It is pinned with a corsage pin to whatever the person is wearing.

The ribbon, of USA origin, is shipped in rolls to Taiwan. In Taiwan the rolls of ribbon are cut to 72 inch lengths, folded in half, sewn together and to the bottom of the cardboard to make the streamers. The rolls of ribbon are also cut to 5 inch lengths, cut to shape, folded and sewn to the circumference of the cardboard to make the points. You inquire as the whether the ribbon supplied to the vendor in Taiwan is considered an assist and if it is dutiable.

General Rule of Interpretation 2(a) states that “Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article.” The unfinished mum backer has the essential character of the finished article. The article, made of textile materials, is worn on the person as an item of personal adornment and is considered to be a clothing accessory.

The applicable subheading for the Mum Backer will be 6217.10.9530 , Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Other made up clothing accessories; parts of garments or of clothing accessories, other than those of heading 6212: Accessories: Other: Other, Of man-made fibers.” The duty rate will be 15%.

The Mum Backer falls within textile category designation 659. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of Taiwan are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The designated textile and apparel categories and their quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the U.S. Customs Service Textile Status Report, an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available at the Customs Web site at www.customs.gov. In addition, 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 and should also be verified at the time of shipment.

Regarding the ribbon supplied to Taiwan, subheading 9802.00.80 HTSUS provides for a partial duty exemption for articles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, the product of the United States, which (a) were exported in a 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 except by being assembled and except by operations such as cleaning, lubricating and painting. All three requirements must be satisfied before a component may receive a duty allowance.

As the ribbon is cut to length, folded and sewn together in China this office finds that such processing constitutes further fabrication. The operations performed abroad are not considered “mere assembly” or incidental. Therefore, the item is precluded from classification under item 9802.00.80 HTSUS.

In addition, the cost or value of the ribbon will represent an assist under Section 402 of the Tariff Act (TA). The term “assist” is defined as that which is supplied directly or indirectly by the buyer of imported merchandise, and free of charge or at reduced cost, for use in connection with the sale of the merchandise for export to the U.S. 19 U.S.C. 1401a(h)(1)(A). There are four categories of assist; but only the first, encompassing “materials, components, parts and similar items incorporated in the imported merchandise,” is potentially relevant to the instant situation. As an assist the value of the ribbon would be added to the processing costs before the ad valorem rate of duty is applied pursuant to Section 402, TA. Also, please note that the value of any assist will include transportation costs to the place of production. See, Section 152.103(d), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §152.103(d)).

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 212-637-7084.


Robert B. Swierupski

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