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NY I81911

June 12, 2002

CLA-2-RR:NC:TA:349 I81911


Ms. Nancy Hu
JLA Home, Inc.
19410 Cabot Blvd.
Hayward, CA 94545

RE: Classification and country of origin determination for a bed sheet set; 19 CFR 102.21(c)(2); tariff shift

Dear Ms. Hu:

This is in reply to your letter dated May 16, 2002, requesting a classification and country of origin determination for a bed sheet set which will be imported into the United States.


The subject merchandise consists of a bed sheet set. The submitted sample contains a flat sheet, fitted sheet and two pillowcases. They are packed for retail sale in a clear vinyl bag. The set is made from 100 percent cotton sateen woven fabric. The fitted sheet is fully elasticized. The pillowcases are folded and sewn along two sides with the fourth side left open for the insertion of a pillow. The flat sheet is hemmed on all four sides. The top hem of the flat sheet and the hem at the opening of the pillowcases feature a 2.25 inch wide strip of jacquard fabric trim overlaid and sewn along the inner edge of the hem. A decorative stitch sometimes referred to as “hemstitching” is sewn along both sides of the jacquard trim and over the finished hem. The manufacturing operations for the sheet set are as follows:

-cotton sateen fabric is woven and finished. -fabric is shipped to China.

-jacquard trim is woven.
-fabrics are cut to size and shape.
-fabrics are sewn/hemmed/elasticized, creating the pillowcases and the sheets. -pillowcases and sheets are packed in sets and shipped.

For the purposes of this ruling, it is assumed that the weight of the jacquard fabric trim is less than seven percent of the total weight of the bed sheet set.


What are the classification and country of origin of the subject merchandise?


Heading 6302, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, provides for, inter alia, bed linen. The sheet set at issue is classifiable within this heading. The heading is divided into subheadings that provide for bed linen with specific decorative features and those that are plain. Embroidery and trimming are included in these specific decorative features. The decorative stitching on the flat sheet and pillowcases is created by punching a line of small circular holes in the fabric and holding these holes open with a series of stitches. This stitching, which is a machine imitation of hand hem stitching, is superimposed over a finished hem and the stitching that holds the trim.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 955576, dated June 1, 1994, Customs confronted the issue of whether bed linen containing decorative stitches almost identical to the stitching on the instant merchandise should be considered embroidery. The ruling noted that in determining whether a decorative stitch constitutes embroidery, Customs will refer to three factors. The applicable criteria are as follow: 1. whether the stitching is ornamental, 2. whether the stitching creates or enhances a design or pattern, and 3. whether the stitching is superimposed upon a previously completed fabric or article or is stitching required to create or complete the fabric or article. Customs further maintains that the third factor focuses on the functionality and primary purpose of the stitching.

In the instant case, the pillowcase contains a stitch that has a decorative effect and would be considered ornamental. The “hemstitch” enhances the appearance of the submitted sample. The stitching is not required to complete the hem of the pillowcases or the flat sheet as it is superimposed upon a previously completed seam. Recently, the issue of a decorative stitch superimposed on a completed hem was addressed in HRL 963601 dated February 15, 2000. In that ruling it was noted that when the decorative stitch was removed the hem did not fall apart. The hem on that item was sewn in place by a straight stitch. The decorative stitch was held to be embroidery. Following HRL 963601, the stitching on the instant pillowcases and flat sheet is considered embroidery.

The instant sheet set meets the qualifications of "goods put up in sets for retail sale". The components of the set consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings (trimmed and embroidered pillowcases, trimmed and embroidered flat sheet and a plain fitted sheet). Thy are put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity, and they are packed for sale directly to users without repacking. The embroidered/trimmed pillowcases and flat sheets impart the essential character of the set.

The applicable subheading for the bed linen set will be 6302.31.5020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: other bed linen: of cotton: containing any embroidery, lace, braid, edging, trimming, piping or applique work: not napped sheets. The duty rate will be 21.5 percent ad valorem.

Although classified as a set, the pillowcases and sheets are subject to textile category numbers as if they were imported separately. The pillowcases fall within textile category designation 360 and the flat and fitted sheets fall within textile category designation 361. 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.


On December 8, 1994, the President signed into law the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. Section 334 of that Act (codified at 19 U.S.C. 3592) provides new rules of origin for textiles and apparel entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on and after July 1, 1996. On September 5, 1995, Customs published Section 102.21, Customs Regulations, in the Federal Register, implementing Section 334 (60 FR 46188). Thus, effective July 1, 1996, the country of origin of a textile or apparel product shall be determined by sequential application of the general rules set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) through (5) of Section 102.21.

Paragraph (c)(1) states that "The country of origin of a textile or apparel product is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was wholly obtained or produced." As the subject merchandise is not wholly obtained or produced in a single country, territory or insular possession, paragraph (c)(1) of Section 102.21 is inapplicable.

Paragraph (c)(2) states that "Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which each of the foreign materials incorporated in that good underwent an applicable change in tariff classification, and/or met any other requirement, specified for the good in paragraph (e) of this section:"

Paragraph (e) in pertinent part states that "The following rules shall apply for purposes of determining the country of origin of a textile or apparel product under paragraph (c)(2) of this section":

HTSUS Tariff shift and/or other requirements

6301-6306 The country of origin of a good classifiable under heading 6301 through 6306 is the country, territory or insular possession in which the fabric comprising the good was formed by a fabric making process.

As the fabric comprising the sheets and pillowcases is formed in a single country, that is, Pakistan, as per the terms of the tariff shift requirement, country of origin is conferred in Pakistan.


The country of origin of the sheet set is Pakistan. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of Pakistan are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in section 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177). Should it be subsequently determined that the information furnished is not complete and does not comply with 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1), the ruling will be subject to modification or revocation. In the event there is a change in the facts previously furnished, this may affect the determination of country of origin. Accordingly, if there is any change in the facts submitted to Customs, it is recommended that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2.

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 John Hansen at 646-733-3043.


Robert B. Swierupski

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