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NY I84077

July 17, 2002

CLA2-RR:NC:N3:351 I84077


Brian Wavra
Johnson Outdoors
555 Main Street
Racine, WI 53403

RE: Classification and country of origin determination for shells of personal floatation devices (lifevests); 19 CFR 102.21(c)(2); tariff shift

Dear Mr. Wavra:

This is in reply to your letter dated July 2, 2002, requesting a classification and country of origin determination for unfilled shells for lifevests, your reference number 877241-FG, which will be imported into the United States.


The subject merchandise consists of incomplete (unfilled) lifevests.

The manufacturing operations for the shells are as follows: fabric from Taiwan or Korea is sent in bulk (rolls) to Thailand, where the shell is cut and sewn. These unfinished lifevests are shipped to the United States where they are filled with foam and otherwise finished.


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


The applicable subheading for the unfinished lifevests (shells) will be 6307.90.9889, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for other made up textile articles, other. The rate of duty will be seven percent ad valorem. Your letter mentions that in Headquarters Letter 952542, similar merchandise was classified under subheading 6307.90.9986, HTS; please note that in the 2002 tariff, that subheading has been replaced by 6307.90.9889.


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Section 334 of that Act (codified at 19 U.S.C. 3592) provides new rules of origin for textiles and apparel entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on and after July 1, 1996.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

6307.90 The country of origin of a good classifiable under subheading 6307.90 is the country, territory, or insular possession in which the fabric comprising the good was formed by a fabric making process.

As the fabric is manufactured in a single country, that is, either Taiwan or Korea, as per the terms of the tariff shift requirement, country of origin is conferred in that country in which the fabric is manufactured, whether it be Taiwan or Korea. The lifevests must be marked to so indicate.

Your letter asks if you may use the phrase “Assembled in the US” on your labels. Whether an article may be marked with words denoting U.S. origin is an issue under the authority of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). We suggest that you contact the FTC Division of Enforcement, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20508, on the propriety of proposed markings indicating that an article is assembled in the U.S.


The country of origin of the unfinished lifevests is Taiwan or Korea, whichever is the country in which the fabric is manufactured.

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 Mitchel Bayer at 646-733-3102.


Robert B. Swierupski

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