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NY I85311

September 13, 2002

CLA-2-:RR:NC:N3:360 I85311


TARIFF NO.: 9811.00.60

C.J. Erickson
Hodgson Russ Attorneys
One Gateway Center – Suite 2600
Newark, NJ 07102

RE: The tariff classification of “mutilated” sample dresses from China

Dear Mr. Erickson:

In your letter dated August 12, 2002 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Alexia Designs, Inc., regarding the applicability of subheading 9811.00.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), to dresses imported for use as samples. A sample of the “mutilated” garment did not accompany your inquiry.

You have stated that 100% polyester sample dresses will be imported into the United States. You have indicated that the garments will be properly marked/mutilated so that they are unfit for resale, however, you have not provided a description or explanation of the manner in which the garments will be marked/mutilated. It is your contention that these mutilated textile garments are entitled to duty free treatment under subheading 9811.0060, HTS, and are exempt from quota requirements and visa certification. You have asked for confirmation that there is no $800 limit for quota exemption for mutilated samples. Your concern stems from the confusion between two separate and distinct treatments of commercial samples. One treatment permits the importation of commercial samples, not to exceed $800, as exempt from quota and visa, but subject to duty, and classified under the appropriate HTS number found in chapters 1-97. The second treatment permits the importation of commercial samples that have been marked or mutilated as exempt from quota and visa requirements, and free of duty, classified under subheading 9811.00.60, HTS. Since you have stated that the imported garments will be marked or mutilated, the subheading under consideration is 9811.00.60, HTS.

Subheading 9811.00.60, HTS, provides for the free entry of articles used in the U.S. as samples only to solicit orders for products of foreign countries, provided they are valued not over $1.00 each, or are marked, torn, perforated or otherwise treated so as to render them unsuitable for sale or for use otherwise than as samples. Thus, there are three basic requirements for classification of a garment under this heading: it must be used for solicitation of orders; it must be valued not over $1.00 or marked, or mutilated; and it must be unsuitable for resale after being used by the importer.

Guidelines regarding the manner in which textile samples should be marked or otherwise treated to render them eligible for duty-free treatment under this tariff provision are set forth in the Interim Update to Customs Directive 3500-07, dated January 4, 1989. The guidelines provide that wearing apparel samples must either be (1) mutilated by cutting or tearing a section from, or punching a hole into the garment, or (2) indelibly marked with the word "SAMPLE" in a prominent and visible area. If the garment is mutilated by means of cutting, the cut must be: (1) visible; (2) appear on the outside of the main body of the garment, but not on a seam or border; and (3) of a size which is a minimum of 2 inches in length. The Customs Directive also provides that the invoice must contain the statement "Mutilated Samples - 9811.00.60" prior to importation of the article into the U.S.

Please note that the value for entry purposes of samples entered under subheading 9811.00.60, HTS, should be the actual value or selling price. The value should not be a nominal or artificial value such as zero, no commercial value or not more than $1.

As noted above, there are three requirements for a garment to be classified in subheading 9811.00.60, HTS. Since you have not provided a sample, a description of the manner in which the garments will be marked or mutliated, an explanation of how the garments will be used, and how they will be treated after use by the importer, we are unable to rule that such a garment would be classified under subheading 9811.00.60, HTS. However, garments meeting the above noted criteria would be so classified.

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 Patricia Schiazzano at 646-733-3051.


Robert B. Swierupski

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