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NY I85881

October 1, 2002

MAR-2 RR:NC:3:353 I85881


Ms. Laura L. Hager
ABX Logistics, Inc.
1560 West 190th Street
Torrance, CA 90501


Dear Ms. Hager:

This is in response to your letter dated September 4, 2002, on behalf of Sareet Clothing Design Manufacture, requesting classification and a ruling on whether imported upper parts of a dress are required to be individually marked with the country of origin if it is later to be processed in the U.S. by a U.S. manufacturer. Unmarked samples were submitted with your letter for review.

The submitted samples are Styles 715, 716 and 717 Upper Part of a Dress constructed of knit 100% cotton fabric. All three items will become the upper part of a dress, are waist length, not dyed, have no closure, and are unfinished at the bottom. Style 715 is sleeveless and features a scoop neckline. Style 716 is short sleeve with a scoop neckline. Style 716 is short sleeve with a V-neckline. The dress parts will be imported from China and sewn to a bottom of rayon crepe that is made in the U.S.A.

The applicable subheading for Styles 715, 716 and 717 will be 6117.90.9080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Other made up clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted; knitted or crocheted parts of garments or of clothing accessories: Parts: Other, Other: Of cotton.” The duty rate will be 14.8%.

Styles 715, 716 and 717 fall within textile category designation 359. 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.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d), defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. 19 CFR 134.1(d)(1) states that if an imported article will be used in manufacture, the manufacturer may be the ultimate purchaser if he subjects the imported article to a process which results in a substantial transformation of the article. The case of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98) (1940), provides that an article used in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article will be considered substantially transformed and that the manufacturer or processor will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the constituent materials. In such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked. See, 19 CFR 134.35.

In this case, the imported Styles 715, 716 and 717 Upper Part of a Dress are substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser of the imported dress part and under 19 CFR 134.35 only the containers which reach the ultimate purchaser are required to be marked with the country of origin “Made in China.”

In addition, you ask what information the appropriate labels should contain for the finished article. Questions concerning marking an article with the phrase “Made in the USA” or similar words denoting U.S. origin, is an issue under the authority of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as is fiber content labeling requirements under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act. We suggest that you contact the FTC Division of Enforcement, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20508.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 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 646-733-3053.


Robert B. Swierupski

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