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NY G84690

December 28, 2000

CLA-2-61:RR:NC:3:353 G84690


TARIFF NO.: 6114.10.0020, 6114.20.0005

Mr. Joseph Saad
Jostel Inc.
1261 Broadway
New York, NY 10001

RE: The tariff classification of a religious garment; U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement; Country of Origin.

Dear Mr. Saad:

In your letter dated November 16, 2000, received in this office on November 30, 2000, you requested a classification, U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement and country of origin ruling. The samples submitted with the ruling request will be returned to you.

The submitted sample is a Tallith Katan that you state will be constructed of knit 100% wool fabric or knit 100% cotton fabric. The garment has a V-neck and is slightly longer than waist-length, measuring approximately 24 inches wide and 28 inches long. The front and back panels are not attached at the sides. However, on each open side there is a single metal snap, which allows the front and back panels to be connected. There are tassels (Tzitzith) that have been inserted through pre-made holes, one at each of the lower corners of each panel.

The garment with the four tassel holes, but without the tassels, will be made in China and exported to Israel. There the tassels will be inserted into the pre-made holes and knotted. The item will then be exported to the United States.

You state that the Tallith Katan is required to be worn by all Jewish males and is worn over and under shirts. The garment must have four square corners with a tassel permanently attached. The tassels, or Tzitzith, must be tied and attached by Jews. The Tallith Katan is worn all day, while the prayer shawl, or Tallith Gadol, not the subject of this inquiry, is worn in synagogue.

You state the garment is incomplete and unusable for its intended purpose without the tassels (Tzitzith or Tzitzit). You request that the garment be considered a “product of Israel” and be classified under subheading 9810.00.9000 as a “prayer shawl.”

This office notes ruling HQ 950037, dated October 29, 1991, regarding Jewish religious garments known as tallitkatans or kanforths. These garments were produced in essentially the same manner as the one in question. The ruling notes that “the United States-Israel Free Trade Area Implementation Act of 1985 (Act of 1985) (General Note 3(c)(vi)), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) must be considered in determining whether the merchandise is eligible for the special tariff treatment accorded to products of Israel imported directly into the United States. Subsection (B)(1) of that note requires that merchandise is a product of Israel only if: [E]ach article is the growth, product or manufacture of Israel or is a new or different article of commerce that has been grown, produced or manufactured in Israel.” (Now General Note 8 (b)(i) and (ii))

The ruling then states that “In this instance, while the tassels may be necessary for the garments intended use as religious apparel, the identity of the garments is fixed with certainty in China. In their condition as imported into Israel, the garments are substantially complete and the processing done in that country is relatively minor in nature and does not change their essential character. Accordingly, the processing performed in Israel is insufficient to create a new or different article of commerce for purposes of the Act of 1985, or to convert them into products of Israel within the purview of 12.130, Customs Regulations.”

The same is true of the garment in question. Therefore, the country of origin of the Tallith Katan is China. The item must be marked as such.

Ruling HQ 950037 discusses the classification of this item and states, “while referred to as a prayer shawl, the garment is clearly not a shawl.” It then states that “The submitted sample is a garment. Its religious significance and use does not negate that fact.” The Tallith Katan is not classifiable under subheading 9810.00.9000.

The applicable subheading for the knit wool Tallith Katan will be 6114.10.0020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Other garments, knitted or crocheted: Of wool or fine animal hair, Tops: Men's or boys'.” The duty rate will be 14% ad valorem for 2000 and 13.5% ad valorem for 2001. The knit wool Tallith Katan falls within textile category designation 438.

The applicable subheading for the knit cotton Tallith Katan will be 6114.20.0005, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Other garments, knitted or crocheted: Of cotton, Tops: Men's or boys'.” The duty rate will be 11.1% ad valorem for 2000 and 11% ad valorem for 2001. The knit cotton Tallith Katan falls within textile category designation 338.

Based upon international textile trade agreements products of China 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.

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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