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NY J85249

June 27, 2003

CLA-2-:RR:NC:N3:360 J85249


TARIFF NO.: 9811.00.60

Francene C. Hinds
JAV International, Inc.
500 Ocean Avenue
East Rockaway, NY 11518-1235

RE: The tariff classification of marked/mutilated sample dresses from China

Dear Ms. Hinds:

In your letter dated May 21, 2003, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Bill Levkoff, 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 “marked/mutilated” garment accompanied your inquiry and will be returned to you under separate cover.

You have stated that 100% polyester dresses will be imported into the United States to solicit orders. The garments will be marked/mutilated so that they are unsuitable for resale. It is your contention that dresses marked in the manner of the submitted sample are entitled to duty free treatment under subheading 9811.0060, HTS, making them exempt from quota requirements and visa certification.

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 an indelible marking, the size of the word “Sample” should be at least one inch in height and 2 inches in length. The marking must be permanent, in a prominent area of the garment which will be visible when worn, and in contrasting color to the garment. 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.

As noted above, there are three requirements for a garment to be classified in subheading 9811.00.60, HTS. You have stated that the dress will be used to solicit orders. The sample you have provided contains the word “SAMPLE” stitched on the outside of the garment toward the hem. The size of the word is 1-¼ inches in height and 6 inches in length and it is in a matching color to the garment. The marking on the submitted dress does not fulfill the requirements of subheading 9811.00.60, HTS. The marking is not indelible or permanent as the stitches can be easily removed without damaging the dress, and the word “SAMPLE” is not in contrasting color to the garment nor is it in a prominent location. A sample marked in this manner, is not entitled to duty free entry and is subject to quota, and requires a visa.

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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