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NY F89057

July 14, 2000

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 F89057


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.9880

Ms. Lisa A. Crosby
Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy LLP
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

RE: The tariff classification of polyurethane bra straps from Brazil.

Dear Ms. Crosby:

In your letter dated June 23, 2000, on behalf of QST Industries, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The sample submitted with your letter is identified as the “Quick Stretch brassiere strap.” The sample strap is made from a strip of polyurethane, approximately ½ inch in width and 15 inches in length. The strip is threaded through a plastic slider and a plastic ring to form an adjustable bra strap. You indicate that the strap is available in different widths, lengths and thicknesses. Please note that the classification provided below applies to straps of this construction as long as the polyurethane strip material measures over 5 mm in width. The sample is being returned as you requested.

The strap is made from wide width polyurethane film extruded in the United States and cut to a narrow width in the United States. The narrow width material is exported to Brazil in continuous lengths of 500 to 1000 yards per bag. In Brazil, the strip will be cut to length, threaded through a slider and ring, melted to the slider on one side and to its own surface on the other. The slider, ring and any other hardware, which may be metal or plastic, will be supplied in Brazil. After assembly, the bra strap will be returned to the United States.

You suggest classification in subheading 6212.90.0090, HTS, which provides for brassieres, girdles, corsets, braces, suspenders, garters and similar articles and parts thereof, whether or not knitted or crocheted: other: other. However, this provision is limited to parts which are made of textile materials.

The applicable subheading for the polyurethane bra strap will be 3926.90.9880, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other articles of plastics, other. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

You also request a ruling as to whether the straps qualify for reduced duty in subheading 9802.00.80, HTS. Subheading 9802.00.80, HTS, provides a partial duty exemption for articles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, the product of the United States, which were exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, have not lost their physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape or otherwise, and 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, HTS, 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 value of the imported assembled article, less the cost or value of such U.S. components, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of section 10.24, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.24).

Section 10.14 (a), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 10.14 (a)], states that the components must be in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication at the time of their exportation from the United States to qualify for the exemption. Components will not lose their entitlement to the exemption by being subjected to operations incidental to the assembly either before, during, or after their assembly with other components. 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. Operations incidental to the assembly are not considered further fabrication operations if they are of a minor nature.

In the instant case, melting the strap to the slider on one side and to its own surface on the other is considered an acceptable assembly operation. Cutting the polyurethane strap material to specific lengths is considered to be an operation incidental to assembly pursuant to 19 CFR 10.16(b)(6). Therefore, the complete bra strap may enter under subheading 9802.00.80, HTS, with allowances in duty for the cost or value of the U.S. produced polyurethane strap material, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of 19 CFR 10.24.

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 Joan Mazzola at 212-637-7034.


Robert B. Swierupski

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