United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2003 HQ Rulings > HQ 562721 - HQ 964609 > HQ 562766

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 562766

August 6, 2003

CLA-2 RR:CR:SM 562766 KSG


TARIFF NO.: 9819.11.12

Arthur W. Bodek, Esq.
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP 245 Park Avenue
33rd Floor
New York, NY 10167-3397

RE: African Growth and Opportunity Act; subheading 9819.11.12; foreign-origin elastic fabric

Dear Mr. Bodek:

This is in response to your letter of May 20, 2003, requesting a binding ruling on behalf of Dominant Garments Fty. Ltd., concerning the eligibility of certain women's trousers for duty-free treatment under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (“AGOA”). A sample was included with your ruling request.


This case involves women's trousers that are chief weight cotton or man-made fiber. The fabric for the body of the trousers and the elastic fabric are not from a sub-Saharan African beneficiary country. The garment will feature an inserted elastic fabric waistband and inserted elastic fabric cuffs. The elastic fabric will be imported into Madagascar in rolls ranging from 48 yards to 144 yards in length. In Madagascar, lengths will be cut from the rolls of elastic fabric which will then be used for the waistband and cuffs. For the waistband, the lengths to be cut will range from 20 inches to 40 inches. For the cuffs, the lengths to be cut will range from 10 inches to 16 inches.

The trousers are cut, sewn and wholly assembled in Madagascar.


Whether the women's trousers, manufactured as described above, are eligible for duty free treatment under the AGOA.


Title I of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, Pub. L 106-200, 114 Stat. 251, May 18, 2000, referred to as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (“AGOA”), seeks to promote trade opportunities between the U.S. and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The AGOA provides for the extension of duty-free treatment under the GSP to non-textile articles normally excluded from GSP duty-free treatment that are not import sensitive; and the entry of specific textile and apparel articles free of duty. In order to implement the AGOA, Customs issued Interim Regulations in T.D. 00-67, 65 Fed. Reg. 59668, which became effective October 1, 2000. These interim regulations, which are found at 19 CFR 10.211 through 10.217, were amended by T.D. 03-15, 68 Fed Reg. 13820 (March 21, 2003). With regard to the textile and apparel provisions, the law became effective on October 1, 2000, and shall remain in effect through September 30, 2008. See Sec. 112(f), AGOA.

The enhanced trade benefits provided by the AGOA are available to eligible textile and apparel articles imported directly from a country (1) that is designated as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country and (2) which the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) has determined by a proclamation published in the Federal Register has satisfied the requirements of the AGOA and therefore should be afforded the tariff treatment authorized in such Act. Such countries shall be enumerated in U.S. Note 1, Subchapter XIX, Chapter 98, HTSUS, whenever the USTR issues a Federal Register notice as described herein. See Presidential Proclamation 7350, Annex, dated October 2, 2000, 65 Fed. Reg. 59321.

Madagascar is a designated beneficiary sub-Saharan African country under AGOA. See U.S. Note 1, Subchapter XIX, HTSUS. Madagascar is also designated as a lesser developed beneficiary country as provided for in U.S. Note 2(d), Subchapter XIX, HTSUS.

Subheading 9819.11.12, HTSUS, provides for preferential tariff treatment for articles imported from a designated beneficiary sub-Saharan African country, as follows:

Apparel articles wholly assembled or knit-to-shape and wholly assembled, or both, in one or more such lesser developed countries enumerated in U.S. note 2(d) to this subchapter, subject to the provisions of U.S. note 2 to this subchapter, regardless of the country of origin of the fabric or the yarn used to make such articles, if entered during the period beginning on the date announced in a Federal Register notice issued by the United States Trade Representative and continuing through September 30, 2004, inclusive U.S. Note 2, Subchapter XIX, Chapter 98, HTSUS, provides for a quantitative restriction for apparel articles classified in subheading 9819.11.12.

Findings and trimmings are defined in U.S. Note 3(b), Subchapter XIX, Chapter 98, HTSUS, to include elastic strips "only if they are each less than 2.54 cm in width and used in the production of brassieres."

Subheading 9819.11.12, HTSUS, allows the use of fabric or yarn that is not of U.S.-origin or beneficiary country origin. Clearly, the elastic fabric used in this case would not be considered a finding or trimming as defined in U.S. Note 3(b). Therefore, the use of non-U.S. or non-beneficiary country elastic fabric imported in rolls used to make the waistband would not render the women's trousers ineligible for classification in subheading 9819.11.12, HTSUS.

Based on the facts presented, the women's trousers would be entitled to be classified in subheading 9819.11.12, HTSUS, subject to the quantitative limits set forth in U.S. Note 2, Subchapter XIX, Chapter 98, HTSUS.


Based on the information provided, the women's trousers are eligible for duty free treatment under subheading 9819.11.12, HTSUS, subject to the quantitative limitations set forth in U.S. Note 2, Subchapter XIX, Chapter 98, HTSUS, and assuming that the garments are imported from a designated beneficiary country directly into the customs territory of the United States. This conclusion also assumes compliance with the applicable Interim Regulations implementing the AGOA.

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 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in connection with the ruling request and incorporated in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

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 this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time the goods are entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: